By Fergus Jensen
JAKARTA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Indonesia's overseas LNG sales are expected to be 4 percent more than previously expected at 285 cargoes this year, boosted by higher output and a drop in volumes set aside for domestic use, the state oil and gas regulator SKKMigas said.
Shipments from the world's No.3 exporter of the super-cooled fuel would however still be below last year's 318 cargoes.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, wants to tap its abundant gas supply and move away from oil as it grapples with record subsidy bills and a trade deficit resulting from costly fuel imports.
"For 2013, the production target is 314 cargoes of LNG originating from Arun, Bontang and Tangguh," Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, SKKMigas' deputy chairman for planning and development, told Reuters in a text message on Tuesday.
Of this, 29 liquefied natural gas cargoes would be set aside for domestic consumption this year, Prawiraatmadja said.
Indonesian LNG, produced by companies including Total , Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and BP , is shipped to Japan, Korea, the United States and China.
Indonesia had previously projected 2013 LNG output at 306 cargoes. Thirty two cargoes were to be set aside for domestic use, but the country later said that three or four of these would be sold on the spot market.
It produced 332 LNG cargoes last year, of which 14 were kept for domestic use.
Indonesia currently consumes about 40 billion cubic metres of gas and demand is growing by at least 10 percent annually.