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Indonesia calls for oil price stability

Publication Date : 17-10-2012

 

Indonesia will attempt to persuade Asian countries at the first Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Kuwait City to take a common stand on the issue of global oil-price stability, a senior Indonesian minister says.

"Oil prices must be stable and affordable so that Asian countries can focus more on poverty reduction," Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa on his personal website, hours before arriving in Kuwait yesterday.

"Indonesia will ask Asian countries' [oil producers] to maintain the stability of global oil prices," Rajasa said.

"First, oil prices must be affordable," he said, adding that Asian countries, especially oil consumers, would face problems in eradicating poverty in their countries if oil was not affordable.

Rajasa is the head of the Indonesian delegation to the ACD Summit, which is being attended by several Asian leaders including Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Bangladeshi President Zillur Rahman, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isu Al Khalifa, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, United Arab Emirates’ Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rasheed and Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Dozens of ministers from various countries are also taking part in the summit. The ACD has 32 members.

Indonesia is the co-prime mover on energy in the ACD. Energy security is one of the prominent issues to be discussed at the summit.

"Asia is the biggest producer of oil as well as the biggest consumer. So we must work together to attain energy security," Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said on Sunday.

Coincidently, Kuwait, a major oil producer with 10 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves, said that global oil prices would likely remain stable in the next five years.

"Kuwait expects oil prices to remain stable or just under the current level over the next five years due to active and increasing consumption in Asia," Kuwait's Oil Minister Hani Hussain said on Monday.

Kuwait, which produces around 3 million barrels of oil per day, has been present in Indonesia for more than 20 years through its energy firm, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

Indonesian Ambassador to Kuwait Ferry Adamhar said on Monday that KPC's subsidiary Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec) was interested in investing in the massive Natuna gas project in Riau islands.

The Natuna gas field has an estimated 222 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves. The whole project needs some US$20 billion to develop the gas field. State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has already agreed to work with Shell, Total, ExxonMobil and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT).

"Kufpec is very welcome to invest in Natuna, It will not be a problem," Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Rudy Rubiandini told Indonesian journalists in Kuwait City on Monday.

According to Rubiandini, if agreed, Kufpec would be expected to invest some $4 billion in the Natuna project.

Ambassador Adamhar said Rubiandini met Kufpec executives on Monday and a delegation will leave for Indonesia soon to discuss with Pertamina.

 

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