TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said said Indonesia wanted to become active again in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, the country planned to become an observer first before seeking full membership, he explained.
Sudirman said Indonesia was still exporting gas albeit in small amount, so it was only fitting if it wanted to become an OPEC member again. Indonesia's status as observer would allow it to be in the market and interact with large producers, he said.
"If we are far from producers, we can't gain benefits," Sudirman said, adding that by joining with large exporters Indonesia could become closer with producers thus closing loopholes for oil and gas mafias.
Sudirman said the mafias emerged due to the wide gap between sellers and buyers. "We actually have been offered to return to OPEC because we are an important country, even though we are not net exporter," said Sudirman.
In 2008, Indonesia suspended its membership in OPEC upon losing its status as exporter.
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