Indonesia mulls quitting OPEC

Indonesia mulls quitting OPEC

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his country is considering pulling out of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries because it was no longer a net oil exporter.

The country of 235 million is Southeast Asia’s only OPEC member, but it now has to import oil following decades of declining investment due to corruption and a weak legal system. Indonesia produced an average of 860,000 barrels a day of crude oil last month, down from 1.5 million to 1.6 million barrels a day in the mid-1990s.

“Our wells are drying,” Yudhoyono said in a nationally televised speech. The government is considering whether it “should continue to stay with OPEC or withdraw our membership … until we reach a point where we deserve to rejoin that organization,” he said.

Indonesia joined OPEC in 1962 and has paid dues to the 13-member cartel through the end of this year.

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