Alweendo pauses OPEC talks
HOLD ON: Namibia is not considering joining OPEC just yet, mines minister Tom Alweendo said.Photo: File

Alweendo pauses OPEC talks

Mines minister Tom Alweendo says it is still too early for Namibia to start entertaining talks around joining oil cartel, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Industry insiders said OPEC was eyeing setting up Namibia for membership, having lost Angola in recent years, Reuters reported recently.

Alweendo paused any suggestions around Namibia’s possible membership.

“It’s rather too early to consider the issue,” he said in response to questions by Market Watch following suggestions that Namibia had been approached on the matter.

OPEC has begun its "charm offensive", he said, adding that the outcome of the talks were unclear at this stage.

OPEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Secretary-general Haitham Al Ghais was quoted in February as saying the organisation was holding talks with several nations on joining the charter, without naming them.

In a tweet at the time, OPEC said Al Ghais met Alweendo at a conference in Nigeria, where the prospect of OPEC and Namibia working together "under the umbrella of the charter of cooperation" was raised.

Great value

Speaking at an S&P Global Commodity Insights webinar last June, petroleum commissioner Maggy Shino said Namibia sees "the great value that an organisation such as OPEC has created in ensuring that the dynamics of the market are controlled and managed in a sustainable manner".

"Because of the potential... definitely once Namibia has come to such as position where we have established a resource base, it is our hope -even without knowing the exact numbers - that we would be able to join the organisation," she added. "It is a family we would be happy to join."

Oil majors Shell and TotalEnergies in 2022 first announced making significant discoveries in the country.

TotalEnergies made an oil discovery in February 2022 in the Venus well in Namibia's Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 56, which analysts at Barclays estimate holds three billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Shell reported discoveries in the Graff, La Rona and Jonker wells in PEL 39, which together are estimated to hold 1.7 billion boe, according to Barclays.


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