Indonesia returning to OPEC

OPEC on Tuesday said Indonesia has officially applied to rejoin the oil producing cartel.

Indonesia joined OPEC in 1962 as the only member from Southeast Asia, but suspended its membership in January 2009 after it became a net oil importer as output dropped.

Though the situation has not changed, it is a net exporter of natural gas now.

And the country is expected to pump 850,000 barrels of oil a day this year, making it one of the smaller OPEC producers.

The application is set to be approved at OPEC’s next ministerial meeting on Dec. 4, as the organization is seeking more influence on oil prices, which is now mainly dominated by the United States.

Amid the falling of the oil prices, OPEC has lost its ability to significantly influence prices through output adjustments.

For Indonesia, its return is seen as a way to access cheaper oil supplies as demand soars amid falling domestic production.

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