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Indonesia reactivates its OPEC membership after seven years

Staff writer |
Indonesia resumed its membership in the oil cartel OPEC after a seven-year hiatus, as it seeks better footing for crude deals in an effort to ensure its energy security.

Indonesia remains Southeast Asia’s top crude producer, but has been the biggest net importer of gasoline in Asia for almost a decade, thanks to a lack of investment in domestic production activities and a surge in demand.

The country reactivated its OPEC membership as the cartel convened at its headquarters in Vienna on Friday.

“We welcome you back and look forward to fruitful collaboration in the future,” Emmanuel Ibe Kachikuwa, Nigeria’s oil minister and president of the OPEC conference, said in his opening remarks published on the OPEC website.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, who attended the meeting, said that by being an OPEC member once again, Indonesia was back among global oil heavyweights, which was “crucial to attracting investment.”

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, Indonesia’s OPEC governor, said the country was revamping its oil and gas sector by easing investment requirements, encouraging new exploration, and improving management of the energy sector.

“Those efforts need to be complemented with a more active role on the global stage,” Widyawan said in a text message on Friday.

By reactivating its OPEC membership, Indonesia will be “part of its decision-making process, instead of standing at the receiving end of those deals,” he said.

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