Indonesia--like most of the smaller oil-producing nations--has been asked by the world's major oil consuming nations to supply greater quantities of crude oil.
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Background: Indonesia--like most of the smaller oil-producing nations--has been asked by the world's major oil consuming nations to supply greater quantities of crude oil.
But although Indonesia has long range plans at double its production, the Government has said there is little chance of meeting the short-term needs of foreign countries affected by the Arab oil embargo.
Indonesia, at present, ranks as the world's eighth largest exporter of crude oil. It produces about 1,400,000 barrels a day, and plans are in hand to increase production to 3,000,000 barrels within the next three years. A significant part f the expected increases in production will come from new off-shore fields discovered in the past three years.
Oil is Indonesia's biggest single industry, providing about 60 per cent of the country's foreign exchange, and is the backbone of plans to develop the economy. Exploration and production is controlled by the state-owned Partimina Oil Company.
One of Indonesia's main oil fields is at Jatibarang, about 200 miles (320 kilometres) east of the capital, Jakarta. The field lies beneath rich volcanic soil, and produces about 40,000 barrels a day.
But like most of Indonesia's output, the oil at Jatibarang is low in sulphur content, and therefore not suitable for the production of the country's major fuel commodity--kerosene. Much of it is exported, chiefly to Japan and the United States.
The United States, Japan and members of the East Asian Nations have all approached Indonesia for more oil. But Indonesia has indicated that in the short term it cannot increase its exports without cutting back on domestic consumption.
The head of Partimina Oil, Dr. Ibnu Sutowo, has said there will be no increase in the price of Indonesian oil in the near future. But he said world oil prices could increase by as much as 500 per cent in the next five years, if the energy crisis was not eased.