The Republic of Congo, one of Africa’s major oil producers, has joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), OPEC said in a statement.
Congo’s membership was approved during a meeting in Vienna.
The government of Congo said in January that it wanted to join OPEC as it moves ahead with new projects that could help it become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer with a target of 350,000 barrels per day this year.
Membership in OPEC now gives the Republic of the Congo a voice in a powerful organization committed to balancing the global economy and maintaining a secure and dependable supply of petroleum to consumers.
OPEC is responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil production and more than 80 percent of established oil reserves.
“The Republic of the Congo is thrilled and honored to be joining OPEC and to do our part to preserve an equilibrium in global oil markets and ensuring a sufficient flow of investments into hydrocarbons,” said H.E. Jean-Marc Thystère-Tchicaya, the Minister of Hydrocarbons. “Severe oil market downturns like the one the world experienced recently remind us of the essential role that institutions like OPEC in ensuring stability.”
In 2017, the Republic of the Congo was amongst 11 non-member countries that joined OPEC in historic production cuts of 1.8 million barrels of oil per day.
The so-called Declaration of Cooperation was widely regarded as successful in restoring the vitality of global oil markets and Brent oil prices reaching their highest level this year since 2014.