The oil and gas industry or the petroleum industry is one of the most talked about industries today. Petroleum is used by many people all around the world and has become an important part of everyone’s routine. The industry also plays a significant role in the global economy. As most people know, Indonesia has a long and successful history in oil and gas production. Indonesian oil production is second only to China in the Asia Pacific region while the gas production is second to none.
The industry also makes a huge contribution to Indonesian economy, supplying energy and manufactured goods which promote the growth of national economy. Indonesia has a population of over 230 million people and abundance of natural resources, especially oil and gas. The Indonesia economy is largely aided by its oil and gas sector which contributes 25% of its domestic revenue and besides that also provides a direct employment of more than 30 thousand workers.
The upstream oil sector, which is also generally known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector, is one of the most vital sectors in the Indonesia economy. Indonesia has a long history in the oil and gas industry. It has been up and running in the oil and gas sector for more than 125 years following its first oil discovery in North Sumatra in 1885, and prolong to be a significant player in the international oil and gas industry. Since the declining of oil production and the growing consumption in the late 2002, Indonesia turns into a net oil importer in year 2004, consequently causing Indonesia to momentarily withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on year 2008.
But this downfall in the oil sector doesn’t mean that the gas sector is suffering the same fate. Indonesia is ranked eighth in the world gas production, with proven reserves of 108 trillion cubic feet in year 2010. Can you imagine how big the role played by the oil and gas sector to Indonesian economy? If only Indonesia could revive the upstream oil industry back to its former glorious moment, I’m sure the economy would be much better than it is nowadays. Therefore, government is expected to be able to enhance the exploration and production of new reserves persistently.
Moreover, as the only Asian member of OPEC since 1962, I expect the government to be able to increase the oil production and rejoin the organization and become the net oil exporter again. As the industry matures, it opens more career opportunities for everyone to join the oil and gas sector and raise the awareness of the importance of oil and gas industry. There is no doubt we have a great deal of potential in oil and gas. But, we have to understand that it takes a lot of money and technology to explore for and exploit petroleum. Thus, policymakers need to create an attractive investment climate that is appealing to oil and gas companies, both national and foreign so that oil and gas companies are keen to invest their money and technology in Indonesia.
The Indonesian oil and gas industry has contributed significantly to the economy and has the capacity to do even more. But to achieve that, government must make a smart alteration. It is time to stop prejudicial political distortions and start working to ensure the introduction of profitable policies to proliferate oil and gas reserves and production. I hope that the future generation will be able understand about the vital role of this industry and could utilize the resources efficiently and effectively so that the industry could survive and grow perpetually. In the future, I will be the generation mentioned in my own essay. It is a reminder to whatever I decide to do in the future as I might act like those in power.