Africa now dominates OPEC

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by staff ()

Africa now dominates OPEC

Africa now dominates OPEC, at least in member numbers. The Republic of Congo, the latest to join after Equatorial Guinea last year and Gabon in 2016, expands the number of countries from the continent to seven, compared with six from the Middle East.

Yet with less than a million barrels of oil pumped by the three new members combined, their influence is limited, especially as Saudi Arabia’s alliance with Russia increasingly dictates policy.

The Republic of Congo’s admission into OPEC presents an opportunity to liberalize the country’s oil industry and signals a reorientation of its diplomatic relations in the Middle East, Communications Minister Thierry Moungalla said.

The announcement Friday that it joined the cartel bolsters plans by sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest crude-reserves holder to increase production by at least a fifth to 350,000 barrels per day.

According to current estimates, 81.5% of the world’s proven crude oil reserves are located in OPEC Member Countries, with the bulk of OPEC oil reserves in the Middle East, amounting to 65.5% of the OPEC total

OPEC Member Countries have made significant additions to their oil reserves in recent years, for example, by adopting best practices in the industry, realizing intensive explorations and enhanced recoveries. As a result, OPEC’s proven oil reserves currently stand at 1,216.78 billion barrels.