As the committee to monitor oil output cuts by members and non-members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets March 17 in Kuwait, sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil and gas producer in- Equatorial Guinea wants to join the oil cartel.
Ahead of this and about seven years after its last show of interest in 2009, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the nation’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, reportedly met with officials in Vienna to submit his country’s interest to become the 14th member.
According to Lima in a statement, Equatorial Guinea has over the past decades, “achieved a sterling track record as a dependable supplier of petroleum to consumers in all corners of the world.
“We firmly believe that Equatorial Guinea’s interests are fully aligned with those of OPEC in serving the best interests of the industry, Africa and the global economy.”
In recent months, Equatorial Guinea has strengthened its relationship with Arab members of OPEC, hosting the Africa-Arab Summit in Malabo in November 2016.
Lima says he wants Equatorial Guinea to join other producers in stabilizing global financial markets. In December, Equatorial Guinea joined 10 other non-cartel members in a pledge to reduce 558,000 barrels of oil production this year. Equatorial Guinea’s share of the cut amounts to 12,000 barrels per day. OPEC had earlier agreed to scale production back to 32.5 million barrels per day in an effort to lift up the oil price.
The country has maintained oil output levels at roughly 200,000 barrels per day and would become the sixth African country to join OPEC, if the application is accepted, coming after Gabon rejoined in July 2016.