Congo’s oil sector was badly hurt by the global dip in prices and a slowdown in its own output since 2014, but it has been rejuvenated by new projects scheduled to boost output by a quarter to 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year.
If successful, the country, where Italy’s ENI (ENI.MI) and France’s Total (TOTF.PA) are among the operators, will be the no. 3 oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, analysts say.
“This imminent accession expresses the will of his Excellency (Congo President) Denis Sassou Nguesso to place our country in the rank of the world’s leaders,” the statement, signed by Nguesso’s director of cabinet Florent Ntsiba, added.
He said Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had expressed support for the idea during a visit to Brazzaville on Jan. 8.
The economy has been badly hit by low oil prices and poor fiscal management, causing total government revenue to fall by nearly a third since 2015 and public or publicly-guaranteed debt to rise to around 110 percent of GDP.
At the end of December, the government said it planned to cut spending next year by 8.6 percent to 1.38 trillion CFA francs ($2.5 billion), following a steep 45 percent cut to the 2017 budget this month, as it seeks to negotiate an IMF bailout.
Congo Brazzaville joins OPEC in a bid to improve its oil production
Congo, the fourth largest producer of oil in sub-Saharan Africa, wants to join OPEC in a bid to establish itself in the definition of policies and decision-making within the sector.
Resources from the country’s oil account for about two-thirds of GDP – that is 75 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of export earnings.
With the launch of the new Moho Nord oil field, Congo might be able to achieve its forecasts for an annual production of 117 million barrels.
Financing opportunities increase after US lifted sanctions
Sudanese government and institutions have started building their economic relations with counterparts in US after the world leader eased sanctions on it.
There has been significant improvements and financial experts said the period of one hundred days after the economic embargo was lifted witnessed notable developments and movements between Khartoum and Washington including resuming banking transactions. The in depth story from our newsroom.