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Indonesia to Withdraw from OPEC


A top Indonesian official says the country is withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as declining production and investment in domestic oil force Indonesia to focus more on imports.

The minister of energy and mineral resources, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, made the announcement Wednesday.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono suggested pulling out of OPEC earlier this month because Indonesia consumes more oil than it exports.

He said Indonesia's oil production has dropped to less than one million barrels a day, which is not enough to meet the country's own needs.

Indonesia's oil production has dwindled because of aging oil wells and a lack of investment in the oil and gas sectors.

Last Saturday, the Indonesian government raised fuel prices to protect the state budget against the soaring price of oil.

Economists say the government has had no choice but to raise the price of fuel. Subsidies that Indonesia's government previously paid to keep prices down have cost it more than $14 billion this year.

Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian member of the 13-nation oil cartel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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