Namibia eyes OPEC membership as large-scale oil production looms

Namibia eyes OPEC membership as large-scale oil production looms

Namibia has announced its plan to join the OPEC “family” which comes at a time when the southern African nation gears up to potentially become the continent’s fourth-largest oil producer by the next decade.

If exploitation of its giant offshore oil and gas discoveries goes as planned, Namibia could turn into a significant oil producer, its Petroleum Commissioner Maggy Shino said last year. Speaking at a recent webinar, Shino said that her country sees “the great value that an organization as OPEC has created in ensuring that the dynamics of the market are controlled and managed in a sustainable manner.” With TotalEnergies and Shell having discovered around 2.6 billion barrels of oil, Namibia ready to start producing 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of peak production capacity by 2030.

With Namibia on course to become Africa’s fourth-largest oil producer by the next decade, the OPEC+ oil producers coalition is considering the southern African nation for potential membership. OPEC’s sub-Saharan African contingent, which includes Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo, say membership gives them greater visibility to investors and international oil companies. Discussions between the Namibian government and OPEC are expected to resume later this month.

In January, neighboring Angola quit OPEC because its quota limits hindered the country’s plans to stabilize crude production above 1 million barrels a day, according to the country’s top oil official.

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