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OPEC membership swells as Equatorial Guinea joins cartel yesterday

One of the highlights of the Thursday’s meeting of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members in Vienna, Austria can be said to be the admission of Africa’s third-biggest oil producer, Equatorial Guinea, who has been accepted as a new member of the global oil cartel.

Equatorial Guinea had said in January it was seeking to become OPEC’s 14th member and the sixth from Africa, an addition that would help raise the continent’s influence and profile in the corridors of global oil production and pricing.

It was heavy debate as OPEC and non-member oil producers geared up to extend output cuts on Thursday, possibly by as long as 12 months, to help clear a global stocks overhang and prop up crude prices.

Most OPEC ministers, delegates and the market see a nine-month extension, instead of the initially suggested six months, as the base-case scenario but some countries including Russia have suggested an unusually long duration of 12 months.

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