Guyana Declines OPEC Membership Invitation

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By Adedapo Adesanya

An oil producer, Guyana, has said it is not interested in joining the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) following an invitation from the cartel.

According to Reuters, the Guyanese Vice-President, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, confirmed this development.

The South American country looks to rapidly boost production and attract new operators, with an oil auction coming up in the next couple of months in hopes it can bring in other oil and gas companies.

Currently, an Exxon Mobil Corporation-led consortium controls all offshore output in Guyana under a production and sharing agreement in which Exxon decides the pace of production and shares a piece of the output with the government.

Guyana has become one of the fastest-growing crude oil producers in the world since it began producing oil commercially in 2019.

It has reportedly been invited to attend OPEC’s international seminar in July, but Mr Jagdeo said his country does not plan to become a member of the oil group.

OPEC’s de-facto chairman and Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Mr Haitham al-Ghais, its secretary-general, invited Guyana to join the cabal.

The Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed it and said the country was invited to attend the July meeting in Vienna and participate in a ministerial panel on diversifying energy economies.

“We were not formally invited to join OPEC. That is not something we are interested in. We have been invited, however, to participate in OPEC meetings,” he told the news agency.

This could be OPEC’s way of formally extending its original membership after Qatar formally exited the group after almost 60 years, effective as of January 2019, to pursue its gas production goals.

OPEC formed an alliance with 10 other countries that became known as OPEC+ in 2017 to save producers from a glut that could throw their economies into disarray. These countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

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