Friday, December 01, 2006

Angola Seeks Membership in OPEC

Angola Set to Join OPEC Oil Group
Oil Helps Angola but Poverty Rife
Angola Angles for OPEC Membership

Angola has approved a plan to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC is an international organization made of eleven oil producing nations. Its mission is to "coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of member countries; and to ensure the stabilization of oil prices in order to secure an efficient, economic, and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital to those investing in the petroleum industry." OPEC’s eleven current members are Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Iraq. Angola would be the first country to join OPEC since 1971. The country hopes to join by March 2007, a move that may counter Middle East control of the organization.

Angola is sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, behind Nigeria. In 2005, Angola’s oil revenues boosted the country’s economy by 18%. The country now produces 1.4 million barrels of crude oil per day and is expected to produce even more next year.

Angola believes that membership in OPEC will give the country more influence on the world stage. Joining OPEC, which should be a formality, will also boost the prestige of Angola’s President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Angola is trying to rebuild its economy four years after the end of civil war that last 27 years. Most people survive on $2 per day. Angola’s economy is highly concentrated in a few sectors. Apart from oil, construction, distribution and diamonds, other commercial activity is limited. The IMF has previously requested that Angola improve transparency regarding its oil sector.

Question: Should Angola join OPEC or remain independent, as Washington urges?

1 comment:

blackcockeral said...

yes angola should join opec. it's a long term strategic descion. the angolan ruling elite have realised that 1) it's oil wont last forever, hence joining opec will mean it will have to adhere to quotas. not stright away, i believe opec will allow angola to reach around 2m barrels before pusing for tighter controls.2)it's always good to be in an alliance then out on ur own. 3)it will enhance it's international standing and allow angola to connect to the global power network through private networks which in turn enpowers it. 4) the ruling elite have realised that angola has the potantial to be a great sub saharan power house in the not too distant future. dont forget it not only has oil, but other natural resources in huge amounts. and probably the best armed forces in africa 5) finally, angola needs to ward off predation from many areas including western goverments and companies hwho are vying for leverage there. opec is a an important turning point in angola's history.