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OPEC on hunt for new members, secretary-general says

The oil cartel currently has 13 members, and 10 more countries form the OPEC+ group.
OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais

VIENNA — The head of OPEC said on Wednesday that the producer alliance is actively looking for new nations to join the cartel, which accounts for 40% of the world’s oil output.

The coalition held the OPEC International Seminar at its headquarters in Vienna this week, with the participation of energy ministers and energy CEOs from around the world. OPEC currently has 13 members: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Venezuela. Most of the energy ministers of these countries were present at this week’s two-day conference that kicked off on Wednesday. 

Ten more non-OPEC countries form OPEC+ with the 13 OPEC members: Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Brunei, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, South Sudan and Sudan. The energy ministers of Azerbaijan and South Sudan spoke at the seminar this week.

Asked whether he was trying to expand OPEC, Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais told reporters on Wednesday, “I am, yes.”

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