JAKARTA – Six months after Indonesia left the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the government announced on Tuesday it has asked to be reinstated into the group, but on the condition it will not have to cut oil output.
Indonesia told OPEC it is willing to rejoin the group provided it is not asked to slash its daily oil production, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry spokesperson Sujatmiko said in a statement.
Sujatmiko argued that Indonesia rejoining OPEC or reaching bilateral agreements with other members will provide Jakarta with investment opportunities in exploration and production of oil and gas, and special tariffs in direct purchases.
The spokesperson added that Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan sent the letter to OPEC making the request after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called on Jakarta to rejoin the group.
The letter was sent on May 24, a day before OPEC and other oil producers led by Russia extended an agreement to cut global oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day, including 1.2 million from OPEC.
Indonesia was one of the first nations to become part of the organization in 1962, but suspended its membership in late 2008 for failing to comply with its production quota following several years as a net importer.
The country rejoined in 2016, but announced another suspension of membership at the end of the year after refusing to reduce its production by five percent.
Last year, the archipelago imported nearly half the oil it needs for domestic consumption, according to Deputy Energy Minister Archandra Tahar, as cited by news agency Antara in April.
The country aims to produce 815,000 barrels each day, according to its 2017 budget, a figure 5,000 less than the previous year.