Angola presents request to join OPEC Thursday

13 December 2006

Luanda, Angola, 13 Dec – Angola is due to present it request to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a full member during the institution’s 143rd extraordinary conference, Angola’s oil minister said in Luanda Tuesday.

Desidério Costa, who was speaking to journalists just moments before leaving for Abuja, Nigeria, where Thursday the extraordinary conference is due to take place, said that Angola’s joining OPEC aimed to ensure that, “Angola, as a producing country, does not become isolated in the world.”

The Angolan Council of Ministers said on November 29 that it had taken the decision to join OPEC. With current production of 1.4 million barrels per day, Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria, and sector authorities expect production to reach 2 million barrels per day in 2007, as new wells go into operation.

Angola’s offshore area is divided into 74 blocs, in shallow, deep and ultra deep waters, of which just 30 are currently in operation. Angola’s oil reserves are estimated at around 12.5 billion barrels.

Last year, according to official figures, the Angolan oil sector accounted for 90 percent of the country’s exports and half of its gross domestic product (GDP), and was also responsible for 80 percent of tax revenues.

If it joins OPEC, and according to the rules of the organization, it will be attributed a production quota, which will vary according to world demand and also take into account production capacity.

OPEC controls 40 percent of world crude oil production, with 30 million barrels per day. The likely membership of Angola and the Sudan would lead to an increase in the cartel’s production to around 32 million barrels per day.

OPEC currently has 11 members – Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Indonesia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Kuwait and Qatar. (macauhub)