By FESTUS OKOROMADU,
Indonesia, a country with an emerging economy in South East Asia, has indicated interest to purchase more crude oil from Nigeria.
Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, said his country is interested in increasing Crude oil purchase from Nigeria.
He stated this in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, yesterday.
Purwanto stated that his country’s president, Joko Widodo, had instructed Indonesia National Oil Company, Pertamina, to direct its attention to Nigeria in its quest to meet that country’s surging energy needs.
A press statement signed by the spokesperson of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, explained that the call by the ambassador signifies the prospects of soaring Nigeria’s market share in Asian emerging economies which include China and India, having lost grounds in crude oil sales to the United State of America due to advances in shale oil exploration in recent years.
The statement added that although Indonesia produces 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, it supplements its 1.4million barrels per day consumption with 18 per cent supplies from Nigeria and 28 per cent from Saudi Arabia.
Speaking during the visit of the Ambassador to his office, Dr Baru who welcomed the development said NNPC was interested in working with Indonesia on its initiative to replace firewood and kerosene with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as primary domestic fuel for cooking.
Baru said the corporation was aware of the huge success of the kerosene substitution programme in Indonesia and would like a collaboration to help Nigeria achieve a similar feat.
The GMD said NNPC would also like to partner with Indonesia in the area of bio-fuels production to diversify the nation’s energy mix and meet its energy needs.
He challenged Indonesia to consider participating in the forthcoming bid round in order to realize its aspiration of maintaining a presence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
On his part, the Indonesian Ambassador disclosed that his country looked forward to lifting crude oil directly from Nigeria, rather than through a third party as is currently the case.
He extended an invitation to the corporation to grace the Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum holding in Lagos, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on possible areas of cooperation between the two countries was in the works.