By Rangga D. Fadillah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Amid soaring global oil prices, the government should limit exports of coal and natural gas to allow domestic energy consumers to substitute their oil demand with cheaper energy resources, an expert says.
Industries and the state electricity company (PLN) face great difficulties keeping their primary energy source costs down because of the limited availability of coal and natural gas on the domestic market, National Energy Council (DEN) member Herman Darnel Ibrahim said Thursday.
"Producing energy from coal and natural gas is cheaper than using oil, so we have to be more conservative in export policies," Herman said at the first plenary session of the Indonesia Petroleum Association (IPA) 35th Annual Convention and Conference at the Jakarta Convention Center.
He emphasized the importance of improving energy conservation by minimizing the use of oil and securing the country's energy needs with coal and natural gas.
"We have to replace extensive oil use by the industrial, household, service and electricity sectors."