The latest world oil price fluctuations have apparently died down. The crisis, triggered by political turmoil in some oil producing countries, worried Indonesia, as a net oil importer, but it rode its luck.
If only the winter prolonged and Japan were unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami the situation would have been different.
However, the latest oil crisis, at least, was enough to give the Indonesian government a jitter. There is, however, a semblance of fear that another crisis may strike. The toughest challenge facing the country today is to meet the oil lifting target of 970,000 barrels per day and the mounting burden of fuel subsidies, which could not be phased out until now for various reasons, at the expense of development capital.
Every time an oil crisis hits, the government’s attitude has taken an ambiguous stand. On the one hand it had no guts to in...