Indonesian president warns of oil depletion
People's Daily Online
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday the country's oil stocks were sufficient for only the next 18 years if there are no new oil field discoveries, while energy consumption keeps rising.
Susilo, who was on a working visit to the South Sumatra capital of Palembang, also said gas and coal stocks will run out within 60 years and 150 years, respectively.
"Energy consumption will keep increasing and therefore we must think of preserving the energy for the 200 million population, which is estimated to grow to 250 million or 300 million in the next 10 years," he was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying.
Energy crisis is not only a matter of fuel price or fuel subsidy, it is also a matter of human life and the future of the country, he said.
For Indonesia, where the government allocates subsidy to keep fuel prices low, the energy crisis is a triple blow to the economy because it hampers growth, drives up inflation and disturbing the state budget, he said.
The fuel subsidy nearly accounts for 25 percent of the budget, preventing the government from allocating more funds in education,health services, poverty eradication program and environmental preservation, he said.
The government has earlier announced a plan to raise domestic fuel prices by at least 40 percent in October in order to cut the mushrooming subsidy.