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OPEC Enlargement.

Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Edmund Daukoru on June 4 said he had held positive discussions with Sudan over that country's possible membership in OPEC. Nigeria, which holds the current rotating presidency of OPEC, in late May invited Sudan to join the 11-state oil producer group. Sudan, which occasionally attends OPEC meetings as an observer, has been studying the invitation.

Africa's biggest oil producer, Nigeria has been keen to widen the producer group's membership and has invited Angola, which has OPEC observer status. Daukoru said: "OPEC will not leave any stone unturned in its desire to have more members in the crude oil market". Bolivia's new populist President Evo Morales, supported by populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has said he wants his country to join OPEC. Morales recently nationalised Bolivia's energy resources, which largely consist of natural gas. Ecuador's oil minister has said some Arab states had invited the former member back into the group it left in 1992.

The invitations come as OPEC has seen its ability to affect global oil prices wane in recent years due to its lack of spare capacity. OPEC now accounts for 40% of world oil production, down from a peak of 55% in 1974. OPEC's share of world oil output is to rise in coming years due to non-OPEC exporting countries' struggling efforts to boost production.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Jun 12, 2006
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