Angola and Sudan have followed Ecuador in saying they may join Opec, a move that would boost the power of the oil cartel, add impetus to resource nationalism and put international oil companies on their guard.
Angola, Sudan and Ecuador would boost Opec output by 2-million barrels a day, or 6%, and bring 10,5-billion barrels of proven reserves to the club. They would also reverse a trend of thinning Opec ranks.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the plans could impede investment by foreign oil companies in the three countries and slow the growth of spare production to shield consumers from supply shocks. “It’s a warning flag for foreign investors,” said Mike Wittner, oil analyst at investment bank Calyon.
A move into Opec by Angola would not go down well in Washington, which is the biggest importer of Angola’s oil. US oil companies Chevron and ExxonMobil, the biggest investors in Angola’s oil sector, are likely to be equally annoyed.