OPEC accepts indonesia’s return to oil group

indonesia-oil-CopyOPEC has notified Indonesia that the country can rejoin the oil-producing group when it next meets in December, officials on both sides said Tuesday.

Indonesia had been a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for 47 years until it suspended its membership in Jan. 1, 2009 after it turned into a net oil importer in the early 2000s. Its readmission into the world’s biggest club of oil exporters could complicate OPEC’s decision making as the group grapples with surging production from the U.S. and elsewhere.

Indonesia’s oil minister, Sudirman Said, said in May that the country would seek to rejoin OPEC to bolster cooperation with its producing countries. Indonesia also is looking for investment in an oil refinery, including from OPEC members which could be crude suppliers for the plant.

The country won’t be formally admitted back into OPEC until the group’s Dec. 4 meeting in Vienna, but OPEC delegates said the organization had written to Indonesia saying its members had no objection to its return.

I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja, the oil and director general at the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral ‎Resources, told The Wall Street Journal that the country had received the letter.

Indonesia is struggling to boost its crude oil production from about 830,000 barrels a day currently, while domestic consumption continues to increase driven by robust vehicle sales in recent years. The country exports about 200,000 barrels of crude a day and imports about 300,000 barrels a day.

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