JAKARTA (rambuenergy.com) – Indonesia’s move to re-join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), after pulling out from the organization seven years ago, is now close to materialization.
The Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Ministry’s General Secretary Teguh Pamudji revealed that his office has received notification letter from the OPEC Secretariat General last week. “Indonesia has been re-accepted as OPEC member, not as observer,” Teguh was quoted by Katadata as saying.
However, Indonesia would only be effectively joining the OPEC team in the upcoming November, he said.
Indonesia would become the 13th OPEC member and the only country that comes from Asia besides the Middle-Eastern countries. Seven years ago, Indonesia, under the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, decided to withdraw from the organization due to the deficit in oil production.
Currently, the nation’s oil consumption is around 1.5 million barrels per day, while the production is only at 800 thousand barrels per day.
The move by the government to rejoin OPEC has been criticized by a number of observers, arguing that there is no use Indonesia rejoining OPEC as Indonesia is now a net oil importer. Indonesia, they said, should join OPIC — organization of petroleum importing countries, if any.
In response to the criticism, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Sudirman Said argues that Indonesia rejoined the organization as Indonesia wanted to get direct access to oil producing countries. (*)