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Published on : Sep 08, 2015

The Southeast Asian country of Indonesia will be rejoining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries at the next meeting of the producer group, according to officials on Tuesday. 

In a news release, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said that the organization welcomes Indonesia’s return and that the country’s oil minister Sudirman Said would also be invited to attend the ministerial conference of the group to be held in Vienna in December.

For 47 years, Indonesia had been part of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. However, on January 1, 2009, the nation suspended its membership after it became a net importer of oil in the beginning of the 2000s. Indonesia’s reentry into Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the largest club of oil exporters in the world, could make decision making for the organization rather complicated because it is already struggling with over production from the United States and other countries. 

Oil minister Sudirman Said in May said that the nation hoped to enter the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in order to boost cooperation with the other oil producing nations. Indonesia is also seeking an investment for an oil refinery in the country and approaching other member nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could provide crude suppliers for the facility. 

Even though Indonesia will be formally rejoining the organization only after the conference in Vienna in December, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said that the member nations had no qualms with its readmission.

Oil and director general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Indonesia I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja said that the country had already received the letter from OPEC. 

Indonesia has been grappling with its efforts to increase production of crude oil from its current rate of 830,000 barrels per day even as its consumption within the country is on the rise owing to flourishing vehicle sales over the past few years.