Gabon rejoins OPEC

06 July 2016,  Libreville – Gabon is again a member of the Organisation Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), more than 21 years after it left the organisation.

ali ben-bongo-m

President Ali Ben Bongo of Gabon

Gabon’s request to rejoin the organisation was approved last month. It membership is effective since Friday, July 1, 2016. The 169th meeting of the Conference of OPEC approved Gabon’s request to rejoin the organization. The FUSE publication said Gabon’s renewed membership brings the total number of countries in OPEC to 14, following the Indonesia’s re-admittance in January this year.

Gabon withdrew from OPEC in December 1994, citing an inability to pay its shares of the organisation’s budget as the reason. The country had previously asked the Conference to adjust dues proportional to production, but major producers resisted the change, arguing that if equal budgetary requirements were to be modified, so should equal voting rights.

In 1994, Gabon, the group’s smallest contributor, produced approximately 340,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil, just over 1 percent of OPEC’s total, but above its quota of 287,000 barrels per day. Gabon’s production quota was also reportedly considered a factor in its decision to leave the organization.

Gabon as any another petroleum producing country is suffering from the slump in oil prices in the world market. As such, reports say, rejoining OPEC allows Gabon to strengthen ties with the cartel’s other members, all of whom are struggling with similar challenges associated with low oil prices.

  • Cameroon Tribune

About the Author