By Adedapo Adesanya
Angola, one of Africa’s top crude oil producers and a key member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has officially rejected the proposed production quota for the year 2024 and may even exit the group.
This was signalled by Mr Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, confirming the nation’s decision and indicating a divergence from OPEC’s suggested allocations for both member and non-member countries.
The announcement was made during the 26th OPEC+ Meeting on Thursday, where the organisation proposed 1.11 million barrels of crude oil per day production quota for OPEC and non-OPEC members for next year.
At the gathering, other members, including Algeria, Kazakhstan, Oman, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made additional cuts, while Saudi Arabia and Russia extended voluntary cuts of up to 1.3 million barrels per day.
“We will produce above the quota determined by OPEC,” Angola’s OPEC governor Estevao Pedro said in an interview on Thursday. “It is not a matter of disobeying OPEC; we presented our position, and OPEC should take it into consideration.”
Mr Pedro said last week that the country would remain an OPEC member despite the dispute. On Thursday, he sounded less sure.
“The question of whether Angola remains in the OPEC is a decision at the highest level of authority,” he said.
Angola will aim and stick to a production quota of over 1.18 million barrels of crude oil per day as the country aims to achieve energy security and drive gross domestic product growth on the back of optimal production, exploitation, and monetization of its oil resources.
“Due to the fact that the decision was not taken unanimously and is against Angola’s position, we reiterate our proposal for a quota of 1.18 million barrels of crude oil for the year 2024,” stated Azevedo, adding that “Our country has been a member of OPEC for more than 16 years and during this period we have fully complied with all the obligations owed to the Organization, as well as shared the efforts that the signatory countries of the OPEC and Non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation (OPEC+) have developed with a view to stabilising the international oil market.”
This development is similar to Ecuador’s exit from the group six years ago after the South American producer said it would breach its quota in 2017 and eventually ended up leaving.