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Angola Not Considering OPEC Exit as Output Dispute Roils

In the aftermath of a postponement in the next OPEC+ meeting for four days to November 30 over oil output quotas, Angola is not considering quitting the cartel, an official told Bloomberg on Thursday morning. 

“There’s no thinking in that direction,” Angola OPEC governor Estevao Pedro told Bloomberg by telephone, ensuring markets that Africa’s second-largest producer had no intentions of rocking the boat to that extent. 

Crude oil prices plunged by over 4% on Wednesday and continued their downward spiral on Thursday after OPEC+ officially delayed its meeting originally scheduled for this Sunday, by four days. At issue is disagreement among OPEC members on production levels, African nations Angola, Nigeria and Congo reportedly seeking higher quotas than those agreed upon at the Cartel’s June meeting. 

According to Bloomberg, the cartel needs additional time to address quotas, suggesting that Saudi Arabia has expressed discontent with Africa quotes while the Kingdom shoulders the bulk of the output cut burden. There was also speculation, according to Bloomberg, that Angola could quit the cartel amid the dispute.

The UAE, the third-largest OPEC producer, may now raise its oil output for 2024 after having won a higher quota in the latest OPEC+ agreement. For years, the UAE has been fighting to increase its quota as it raises production capacity.

But the Saudi rift with the UAE over output targets was resolved at the expense of African nations. 

"OPEC squared the books on increasing UAE’s quota... by reducing the targets for the African nations that were underperforming their required production numbers," RBC Capital Markets’ Helima Croft said in a note, cited by Reuters. Croft told Bloomberg that the dispute with Angola may be “difficult to bridge”. 

African nations had their output quotas reduced in June due to reduced capabilities, with Angola already falling short of its production targets. The country produced 1.17 million barrels per day in October. Nigeria, on the other hand, has been producing above its targets for 2024. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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