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Indonesia Considers Leaving OPEC

Indonesia is considering leaving the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, because of the country's declining crude oil output. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in Jakarta has more.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday the country is considering whether to give up its membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Yudhoyono says Indonesia's "wells are drying" and the country needs to concentrate on increasing production.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia's only OPEC member. It joined in 1962, just two years after the group was formed.

This is not the first time Jakarta has reassessed the country's membership in OPEC.

Several years ago, a team was formed to analyze Indonesia's membership. It recommended the country continue with the organization, to maintain good relations with oil producing countries, especially those in the Middle East.

But that has changed now. Indonesia must import oil, because of years of declining investment in exploration and extraction.

Analysts also say the country's weak legal system has discouraged oil companies from investing here.