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How Self-sufficient is ASEAN in Energy?

By Pinto Anugrah
28 November 2017

Energy self-sufficiency is defined as the ability of a country or region to fulfil its own energy needs. It is calculated as production over the total primary energy supply (TPES).1,2 If the number is less than 100%, then the country or region is not self-sufficient and depends on imports. ASEAN is currently a net exporter of energy with energy self-sufficiency ratio of 123% in 2016. Figure 1 below shows the energy self-sufficiency of the ASEAN region between 2007 and 2016.

Figure 1. ASEAN Energy Self-sufficiency, 2007-2016


With its production surpassing the consumption level, the self-sufficiency ratio of coal was the highest (275%) among all fuels in ASEAN in 2016. Based on ASEAN Centre for Energy’s (ACE) data, the highest coal producer in ASEAN in 2016 was Indonesia with 268 Mtoe, almost twelve times higher than Vietnam as the second-largest coal producer in the region. These two ASEAN Member States’ (AMS) massive coal production was the main reason why coal self-sufficiency in ASEAN reached over 200% for the last ten years.

Gas production was growing 1.3% per year in the period of 2007-2016. However, the increasing amount of gas import—both pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG)—in the region has caused the primary supply of gas to grow at 3.5% annually. This was reflected in the decreasing ratio of gas self-sufficiency, from 169% in 2007 to 137% in 2016. Three main gas producers in ASEAN were Indonesia (66 Mtoe), Malaysia (62 Mtoe), and Thailand (34 Mtoe), while the rest of the AMS contribute to around 39 Mtoe to the region.

Oil has the lowest ratio of self-sufficiency. Oil self-sufficiency in 2007 was only 69% and keep decreasing to 49% in 2016. This trend probably will continue to happen in the future, since the trend of oil production in the region keeps decreasing from 121 Mtoe in 2007 to 109 Mtoe in 2016. This is in contrast with the level of coal production which has increased from 160 Mtoe in 2007 to 312 Mtoe in 2016.

Although overall energy self-sufficiency in ASEAN was able to remain over 100% since 2007, it does not mean that ASEAN can fulfil its energy needs on its own. Looking at the historical rate of oil production and the uncertainty of gas production, energy self-sufficiency is a serious challenge in the future. The recently published 5th ASEAN Energy Outlook also highlighted the future of gas production where ASEAN is projected to be the gas net importer in the next five years.3 Once the ratio of self-sufficiency is below 100%, ASEAN would no longer have the status of net energy exporter.  (Featured photo credit:  www.awaken.com)


APERC, 2016. APEC Energy Statistics 2014.

IEA, 2016. Key World Energy Trends – Excerpt from: World Energy Balances.

ACE, 2017. The 5th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO5). ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), Jakarta.


The views, opinions, and information expressed in this article were compiled from sources believed to be reliable for information and sharing purposes only, and are solely those of the writer/s. They do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and/or the ASEAN Member States. Any use of this article’s content should be by ACE’s permission.