Indonesian President Joko Widodo chaired a limited cabinet meeting here on Wednesday to discuss the draft law on oil and gas initiated by the House of Representatives (DPR).
The president urged ministers attending the meeting to conduct a thorough and careful study of the draft law to ensure that it did not run counter to the state`s Constitution.
“This is the House of Representatives` initiative. We need to study it thoroughly and carefully,” he noted in his opening remarks at the meeting, attended by Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution and several other cabinet members.
President Widodo remarked that oil and gas had become the main and strategic source of financing for Indonesia`s development, so the oil and gas law should be able to strengthen the country`s energy security.
The oil and gas draft law should also be able to help secure the country`s national production and strengthen capacities of local industries as well as boost the development of skilled human resources in the oil and gas sector, he explained.
President Widodo added that the draft law initiated by the House should be able to ensure that the country`s oil and gas management could be simpler as well as more efficient and transparent.
The limited cabinet meeting was also attended by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Rini Sumarno, and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasona H. Laoly, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, and State Secretary Minister Pratikno also attended the meeting.
In the past, Indonesia had also become one of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. However, it has currently become a net importer of oil owing to shrinking domestic production and fast-growing domestic consumption.
To deal with this condition, state-owned energy company PT Pertamina is expected to use all crude oil production of Indonesia to be fed into its refineries in 2019.
Pertamina has to spend large amount of foreign exchange for the import of crude oil to feed its oil refineries, as most of the country`s crude oil production by oil contractors is exported.