RI’s ambassador, Saudi energy minister discuss energy cooperation

Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel (left) were handing over a souvenir to Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right) after a meeting in Riyadh on Saturday (April 4, 2020). (The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The lockdown imposed by the Kingdom government due to the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia is not an obstruction for Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel to make diplomatic efforts to win benefits for the two nations.

Ambassador Agus Maftuh, who has been serving in Saudi Arabia for four years and 20 days, had a meeting with the son of King Salman who also serves as Energy Minister of the Kingdom, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in Riyadh on Saturday (April 4).

Accompanied by the Saudi Governor of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Adeeb Y Al-Aama, Prince Abdulaziz appreciated the close bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

During the meeting Prince Abdulaziz conveyed the latest developments in the decline of world oil prices and the future OPEC+ meeting which also involved other oil producing countries under the initiative of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting aims to make an agreement on oil prices in order to achieve world oil market stability that meets the interests of all oil producers.

In the meeting with the Saudi Arabia Minister of Energy, Ambassador Agus Maftuh conveyed three important points in the energy cooperation between the two countries.

According to the ambassador, Indonesia understands and supports Saudi Arabia’s initiatives related to the upcoming OPEC+ meeting as part of efforts to reach an agreement on a stable world oil price that is acceptable to all parties.

The ambassador added, Indonesia proposed that the purchase of crude oil from Saudi Arabia could be pursued through trade mechanism with Indonesia’s main export commodities such as crude palm oil (CPO), aiming at reducing Indonesia’s huge trade deficit due to oil and gas imports from Saudi Arabia.

In 2019 about 48 percent of Indonesia’s crude oil import was supplied from Saudi Arabia.

The ambassador pointed out that Indonesia also expected bilateral cooperation in the energy sector between the two countries to be enhanced, among others, by completing the joint venture development of the Cilacap Refinery Development Master Plan between Indonesia’s state-owned oil company Pertamina and its Saudi counterpart Aramco.

Other cooperation is to explore oil refining projects, as well as the implementation of Saudi Arabian investment plans to establish a petrochemical plant in Indonesia.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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