Congo reaffirms commitment to OPEC, oil minister says

(Reuters) – Congo on Saturday reaffirmed its commitment to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), days after neighbor Angola decided to leave the organization.

“The Republic of Congo reaffirms its steadfast commitment to the strategic policy defined by the Secretary-General of OPEC and OPEC+,” Congo’s hydrocarbons minister Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua said in a LinkedIn post.

“Congo is committed to continuing close and constructive collaboration with all member countries.”

The development comes after Nigeria on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to OPEC, with minister of state for petroleum Heineken Lokpobiri saying that his country’s position remained unwavering.

Congo, which became a full member of OPEC in 2018, has been set a target of 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2024 by the Saudi-led oil producer group.

Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest oil producer, and Angola were among several countries given lower output targets for 2024 after years of failing to meet previous ones.

Angola’s Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo said on Thursday that OPEC no longer served the country’s interests. It joins other mid-sized producers Ecuador and Qatar that have left the organization in the last decade.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Mike Harrison)