The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, on Wednesday indicated his country’s interest to purchase more crude oil from Nigeria.
Purwanto declared the South-East Asian country’s interest in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru.
In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Purwanto, said Indonesia looked forward to lifting crude oil directly from Nigeria, rather than through a third-party as is currently the case.
He said 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.
Purwanto, according to the statement, extended an invitation to the NNPC to grace the Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum holding in Lagos.
The statement said a Memorandum of Understanding, on possible areas of co-operation between the two countries was in the works.
Ughamadu said the call by the ambassador signified the prospects of soaring Nigeria’s market share in Asian emerging economies which include China and India, having lost grounds in crude oil sales in the U. S. due to shale oil exploration.
He said although Indonesia produced 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, it supplements its 1.4 million barrels per day consumption with supplies from Nigeria, 18 per cent and Saudi Arabia, 28 per cent.
In his response Baru 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.
He acknowledged that 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.
Baru added that the NNPC would 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 an upcoming bid round in order to realize its aspiration of maintaining a presence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.