Equatorial Guinea OPEC Power Play Pays Off

Equatorial Guinea’s bid to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has received important validation as Saudi Arabia, the group’s largest and most influential member, has supported the African country’s membership. Last week, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo made his first state visit to Saudi Arabia, meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and signing a raft of political and trade agreements. Equatorial Guinea reconfirmed its agreement to reduce oil production by 12,000 barrels of oil per day and supported OPEC’s broader resolution to reduce total output by 1.8 million barrels per day through 2017.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in bringing stability to global oil markets,” said President Obiang in a statement. “Equatorial Guinea reaffirms its commitment to these production cuts and is grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its support to join OPEC.”

The support for Equatorial Guinea’s accession paves the way for OPEC to add its fourteenth member and increase global market share as the group grapples with a declining influence and a rise in North American oil production. Equatorial Guinea’s bid coincides with a broader effort to expand ties with the Arabian Gulf. On May 12, it reached an agreement with UAE-Based Arabian Energy DMCC to cooperate on the Bioko Oil Terminal, a tank farm that is aiming to become the largest petroleum storage facility in West Africa.