Yemisi Izuora/Joseph Bakare
The African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) is set to engage the OPEC and Saudi Arabia to achieve production cut.
APPA hopes that a production cut would help to stabilise global oil price and make the sector attractive again.
The association represents oil and gas producers from Algeria to South Africa.
The group also includes the continent’s biggest producers, Nigeria and Angola.
The oil production slash initiative, led by Angola and Algeria is seeking collaboration between members of OPEC and other oil producers to reduce output and stabilize oil prices, which have halved since the end of June.
Ousmane Doukoure, director of exploration and production at Ivory Coast’s oil ministry who spoke on the latest initiative at the end of an APPA meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital explained that the association wants to set up a platform of commitment at the international level from the producing countries.
African countries from Angola to Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea have had to cut their budgets in recent months after the plunge in oil prices affected the amount of income they will get from their biggest exports.
Countries, including the continent’s biggest economy Nigeria, have further slashed growth forecasts.
Also Gabriel Lima Obiang, oil minister for Equatorial Guinea, complained after the meeting that the situation is worrisome, adding
“We are very concerned by the drop of the price,” .
“We are revising already our budget because of the price and we have been welcoming an initiative by Angola and Algeria to study a way we can work together to stabilize the price in the future.”
While some members of OPEC have called for an output cut the biggest producer in the organization, Saudi Arabia, is opposing any reduction in output.
In Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, and Angola are members of OPEC.
“The current prices are unfair and are having an impact on the economies of African countries,” Mashallah Zwai, oil minister for the Tripoli-based Islamist government in Libya, said through an interpreter.
“We will ensure our voice is heard about this crisis so as to emerge from it as soon as possible.”
Zwai said Africa accounts for about 8 percent of global oil production.
Libya is split with a separate government, based in the eastern town of Tobruk, recognized by the United Nations.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, relies on the commodity for over 90 percent of its export income.