Oil producers stick with OPEC despite Angola’s exit

The African country has quit the cartel after 16 years of membership

Several members of OPEC affirmed on Saturday their commitment to the organization and its objectives after Angola decided to quit the group.

The African nation announced earlier this week that membership in OPEC no longer served its interests. The move came after the cartel asked Angola to cut production by 1.1 million barrels a day, below the nation’s current output, as part of the group’s drive to curb output in order to support oil prices. The country’s exit brings the group down to 12 nations.

We reiterate our firm support for unity and cohesion at the heart of OPEC and OPEC+. Each member, whether African or not, plays an indispensable role in achieving our shared objectives and in maintaining the balance of the global oil market,” Congo’s minister of hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, said in a statement in response to Angola’s departure.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Heineken Lokpobiri wrote that his country is “resolute in our dedication to OPEC’s objectives while actively engaging with the organization to address concerns that resonate not only within our nation’s borders but across the continent.

Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad defended OPEC’s stance on output quotas, telling the Iraq News Agency that the group “is trying to achieve the highest rates of balance between supply and demand to achieve stability in the global oil market.” The country is expected to make some of the group’s biggest supply cuts next month to meet its own new quota.

Angola is not the first country to quit OPEC – Qatar, Indonesia, and Ecuador have also left the group in recent years for various reasons. However, some experts warn that Angola’s move may signal growing dissent within OPEC’s ranks regarding production cuts.

READ MORE: OPEC+ to extend oil output cuts

OPEC and OPEC+ members have taken a series of steps that started back in late 2022 to help stabilize the global oil market and support crude prices, which have dropped by roughly 20% in the past three months. Late last month, OPEC+ members agreed to deepen production cuts to a total of about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter of next year, but said they plan to gradually increase output in the second quarter if market conditions are favorable.

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