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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  11 May  2015  

Indonesian energy chief seeks to rejoin OPEC

INDONESIA’S energy minister said on Thursday he would ask for President Joko Widodo’s approval for the country to rejoin OPEC seven years after leaving the oil exporters’ group.

Indonesia was the only Asian member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for nearly 50 years, before leaving the group in late 2008 as rising domestic demand and falling production turned it into a net oil importer.

“I will ask the president to consider rejoining as a member of OPEC, so we are close to the market,” Energy Minister Sudirman Said told reporters. “We have been offered to rejoin.”

OPEC’s statutes stipulate, however, that any “country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of member countries, may become a full member of the Organisation, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of full members, including the concurring votes of all founding members.”

OPEC does allow for associate members, “which are those countries that do not qualify for full membership, but are nevertheless admitted under such special conditions as may be prescribed.”

It was not immediately possible to confirm with OPEC that it had offered to let Indonesia rejoin the group or on what basis. The minister said he will attend OPEC’s meeting in early June as an observer.

“Membership has levels. At the beginning we can be an observer, but later, if we are given the possibility to be a full member, that is good,” the minister said.

“We are still exporting gas, though only a little bit, so it’s not a problem (to be an OPEC member again).”

Indonesia’s oil output target for this year is 825,000 barrels per day (bpd), which is about half of its production peak in the early 1990s. And while it still exports some crude oil, its imports of refined products make it a net importer.

Indonesia is also a large exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Minister Said also said Indonesia would soon be sending a government delegation to Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Russia and other oil-producing countries for possible supply deals.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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