Secretary General: OPEC Better for EG, Gabon Membership

In an interview with Africa Oil & Power, H.E. Mohammed Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries, talks about the organization’s openness to the interest of producing countries joining OPEC. This interview is the second article in a three-part series. 

In the last two years two African countries – Gabon and Equatorial Guinea – have joined OPEC and another – the Republic of Congo – is bidding for accession in 2018. How is Africa increasingly shaping the OPEC narrative?

Six African countries are currently members of OPEC: Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria. Like all of our 14 Member Countries, they make a vital contribution to the successful functioning of our Organization. OPEC is a better Organization for their membership and I look forward to all of our African Member Countries continuing to positively influence our Organization.

With more African countries newly becoming oil producers, do you foresee more new OPEC members coming from the continent?

Article 7 of OPEC’s statute says, “Any other country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of Member Countries, may become a Full Member of the Organization, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of Full Members, including the concurrent vote of all Founder Members.”

We welcome the interest of producers wanting to join the Organization. And we are always delighted to have new members of OPEC.

The Republic of Congo is applying for OPEC membership this year. What do you think the country can add to the organization?

As an intergovernmental organization, it is intrinsic to OPEC’s DNA to advocate broad international cooperation, collaboration among nations and multilateralism as the most effective mechanisms for overcoming challenges. The new manifestation of this is our successful partnership with 10 non-OPEC oil producing countries in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation.’

We cannot comment on the possibility of specific countries joining our Organization in the future, but as I said in response to an earlier question, we warmly encourage countries to consider OPEC Membership.

H.E. Mohammed Barkindo will be bestowed with the “Africa Oil Man of the Year” award during the Africa Oil & Power conference, to be hosted September 5-7, 2018 in Cape Town. He will also present the keynote address during the annual conference. You can read more about his attendance and award here

H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC

H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo has over 30 years experience in the politics of energy.

Mr. Barkindo was appointed a three-year term as Secretary General of OPEC in August 2016. As Secretary General, Mr. Barkindo administers the affairs of the organization in accordance with the directions of the Board of Governors. Prior to his appointment, he was the acting Secretary General of OPEC in 2006.

He represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board, and was Group Managing Director and CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.