28/05/2008 Indonesian energy minister said Wednesday that his country is pulling out of OPEC, because it is no longer a net oil exporter. Purnomo Yusgiantoro told reporters it did not make sense for his oil-producing nation to be a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries at a time when domestic reserves were drying up and consumption increasing. "We are pulling out of OPEC,'' he said."I will sign the papers today.''
The country of 235 million people is Southeast Asia's only member of the organization, but has had to import oil because of decades of declining investment in exploration and extraction. Purnomo said the decision to leave OPEC was made by the Cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, but that Indonesia could still rejoin at a later date.
Last month, Yudhoyono said his nation needed to concentrate on increasing domestic production, which has dropped to less than 1 million barrels a day compared to just over 1.5 million barrels a day in the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, Indonesia, which heavily subsidizes oil to protect the poor, last week raised the price of gasoline and other fuel products by nearly 30 percent because surging costs on the global market threatened to blow its budget. Indonesia joined in 1962. The organization presently has 13 members. courtesy almanartv