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ICYMI: OPEC woos Namibia after Angola exit

ICYMI: OPEC woos Namibia after Angola exit
April 16
19:13 2024

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as (OPEC+), are considering adding Namibia to the group.

This followed the exit of Angola in December 2023 after a dispute over production quota.

According to a Reuters report on Monday, the development comes as Namibia sets up what may become Africa’s fourth-largest output by the next decade.

In recent years, TotalEnergies and Shell have made discoveries estimated at 2.6 billion barrels, setting the stage for the southern African country to plan production starting around 2030. 

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“The initial focus for OPEC+ would be to see Namibia join its Charter of Cooperation, the sources said, a grouping that engages in longer-term dialogue about energy markets. Brazil joined the charter in January,” the publication said.

According to the report, OPEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In February, Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC secretary-general, was quoted as saying the organisation was in talks with several nations on joining the charter — without naming them.

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OPEC, in a post on X at the time, said Al Ghais met Tom Alweendo, Namibian minister of mines and energy, at a conference in Nigeria where the possibility of OPEC and Namibia working together “under the umbrella of the charter of cooperation” was discussed. 

In June 2023, Maggy Shino, Namibian petroleum commissioner, expressed interest in joining the OPEC “family”, according to a report by S&P Commodity Insights.

However, in March, Alweendo told Reuters Namibia was not considering joining the charter and that OPEC membership was not in the cards.

“We haven’t been approached by anyone to join OPEC. OPEC members are petroleum exporting countries and we are not there yet,” he said.

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“That is a consideration only after we have started to produce.”

About 2.6 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Namibia this decade so far, Pranav Joshi of energy consultancy, Rystad Energy, told Reuters.

In addition to Total and Shell, the publication reported Chevron, Rhino Resources, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas, and Galp Energia are conducting exploration and appraisal efforts.

Based on the existing discoveries, Namibia is looking at 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of peak production capacity by the next decade, Joshi added.

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While this is smaller than Angola’s output of some 1.1 million bpd, Joshi said Namibia’s production level could rise with further successful exploration.

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