Angola: Country Admitted As Opec Member

Abuja — Angola was admitted Thursday as a full right member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), during the organisation's 143rd extraordinary conference taking place in Abuja, Nigeria.

The country is represented at the meeting by a delegation headed by the Oil minister, Desidério Costa, and includes senior officials of the sector.

Speaking recently on the country's adhesion to the oil organisation, Desidério Costa said this permits that Angola, as producing country, is not left isolated from the world.

He also said that the price policies do not depend on the country's being or not being part of the organisation. "There is a policy established by the organisation and the other countries, both affiliated and non-affiliated, just have to respect it," he said.

With a current production of 1.4 million barrels a day, Angola is the second major oil producer in Africa south of Sahara, after Nigeria, with representatives of the sector expecting to reach two million a day in 2007, thanks to the exploration of new wells.

The maritime zone, along the Angolan coast is devided into 74 exploration blocks in shallow, deep and ultradeep waters. Of these, only about 30 are currently in operation.

The country's oil reserves are estimated at 12,5 billion barrels.

In 2005, Angolan oil sector responded for 90 percent of the exports and half the country's Gross Domestic Product and is responsible for 80 percent of the fiscal revenues.

In addition to Angola, OPEC groups Algeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Indonesia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Kuwait and Qatar.

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