Jakarta: Energy and Mineral Resources deputy minister Arcandra Tahar has confirmed the central government will accelerate the development of household gas networks to reduce the consumption of oil and gas.
"If we can connect more households to gas networks, we can significantly reduce our oil and gas imports," Arcandra said here on Monday.
The central government has connected 463,619 households to gas networks over the past few years. It is planning to connect 4.7 million households to gas networks by 2025.
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The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced that the country's trade deficit reached USD8.57 billion in 2018. Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution explained that the huge trade deficit was primarily driven by the country's oil and gas sector.
"In 2017, the non-oil and gas trade surplus still can compensate the oil and gas trade deficit," Darmin told reporters last month.
"In 2018, the non-oil and gas trade surplus can no longer compensate the oil and gas trade deficit," Darmin added.