Indonesia Considers Rejoining OPEC as Observer

Indonesia Considers Rejoining OPEC as Observer

Indonesia is considering rejoining the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as an observer after leaving the group six years ago, a minister said Thursday.

“We want to have an interaction with the market [by becoming an observer in OPEC],” the Minister of Energy and Mineral ResourcesSudirman Said said. He said Indonesia has in the past been invited by OPEC to attend meetings as an observer.

Indonesia discontinued its OPEC membership when it expired on Jan. 1, 2009. It has been a net oil importer since the early 2000s. The government is struggling to increase the country’s crude-oil production from about 830,000 barrels a day currently, while domestic consumption continues to rise.

Indonesia’s renewed interest in attending OPEC meetings comes after a slump in oil prices since last summer that has only partially been reversed in recent weeks. At its last meeting in November,OPEC decided against a cut in the group’s oil output, a decision that gave impetus to the decline in oil prices.

The group is next due to meet in early June. Despite continuing high supply of oil in global markets, analysts don’t currently expect the group to change its output policy, even though several OPEC member countries need high oil prices to ensure their fiscal budgets break even.

Indonesia isn’t the only non-OPEC country that is looking for closer discussions with the group. Last month Russia, one of the world’s largest oil-producing countries, said it was conducting “unprecedentedly active” consultations with OPEC.

Source: Wall Street Journal


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