This morning, local Angolan media (ANGOP) announced that the African country will be leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Angolan Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo confirmed the story in a presser shortly after. He said that “membership is no longer serving our interests”, as 2024 production quotas were slashed by the group in a meeting earlier this month.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 21, 2023
This announcement comes at a critical time just as the current OPEC members, Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are seeking to ease production burdens by bringing on more partners. Hence the expansion of OPEC+ in the last four years which include includes Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.
While the departure of Angola at this time is critical, many nations have either withdrawn from OPEC in the past or have temporarily suspended membership due to quotas and other economic hardships. Ecuador, Qatar, and Indonesia have all withdrawn membership for various reasons.
Angola produced 1,127,449 barrels a day in 2021 and had a proven reserve of 8,423,000,000 barrels on its territory, making it one of the smaller contributors to OPEC. The departure of Angola probably indicates the country will raise its production quota for 2024, possibly lowering the cost of oil precisely when world markets are spiking due to the Houthi blockade in the Red Sea.