JAKARTA, Feb 27: Indonesia, Asia's only OPEC member, wants the oil cartel to maintain current production levels in an effort to bring down prices, the country's OPEC governor, Maizar Rahman, said on Monday.
''We want no production cuts during the OPEC meeting next week,'' Rahman told Reuters.
''The oil price is still high, and we want the price to be brought down. Therefore, OPEC should maintain its output.'' An official at the Mines and Energy Ministry said Indonesia wanted low prices because it imports crude and subsidises oil products in the domestic market.
''Crude exports are becoming lower and lower every month because Indonesian oil production is falling. Low oil prices will benefit Indonesia more than high oil prices,'' the official said.
For its 2006 budget calculations, Indonesia has assumed an oil price level of per barrel. On Monday, NYMEX crude for April delivery traded near .15 a barrel.
Indonesia exported 322,600 barrels per day (bpd) in January versus 443,800 bpd in December. It imported 234,400 bpd of crude oil in January, keeping it a net exporter for a fifth month in a row.