OPEC plans to add net-importer Indonesia back into the cartel

Indonesia will rejoin OPEC after leaving the organization in 2009, according to I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmadja Pudja, director-general of oil and gas at the country’s energy ministry. All of OPEC’s current members approved of the country’s application last week, allowing Indonesia to reactivate its membership in November, reports the Associated Press.

Indonesia decided to discontinue its membership to OPEC on January 1, 2009, reports The Wall Street Journal. The country has been a net importer of oil since the early 2000s, but it hopes that by rejoining OPEC, that it will be able secure more investment into its oil and gas industry, as well as ensure a secure supply of oil imports.

The country’s 2015 production target of 825 MBOPD makes it Southeast Asia’s largest producer, but the fourth smallest OPEC member by production. The country has roughly 250 million people with a rapidly growing demand for energy, requiring it to import much of its energy needs.

The statement made by Indonesia’s energy ministry following the news that its application had been approved cited strong support from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia’s largest supplier. “The Saudi Arabian government delegation appreciate and fully support the decision of the Indonesian government to become an OPEC member again,” Inodnesian Energy Minister Sudirman Said said.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi plans to push for state-owned Saudi Aramco to invest in Indonesia’s downstream sector, reports Reuters. The UAE also plans to supply crude and fuel oil to the recently re-inducted OPEC member, while Iraq said it was open to Indonesia expanding its investment in Iraq’s upstream sector.

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