Congo will takeover Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) rotating presidency in 2022, succeeding neighbors Angola. The oil cartel’s secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo was in the central African country this week where he met with the country’s leaders.
“I would like to reassure investors that we in OPEC will continue to work for the leadership of African countries in this organization,” said Barkindo during a press conference.
With 2.9 billion barrels of oil reserves and 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Congo is driving development across the entire energy value chain. Congo’s state oil company SNPC has emphasized the role that natural gas will play in alleviating poverty and positioning the country as a regional energy hub.
In recent years, the country has seen a drop in oil revenues due, among other things, to production cuts imposed by OPEC amid concerns that producers Total and Eni are cheating the country.
To broaden its tax base, the government has canceled tax and customs exemptions granted to oil companies for more than 30 years, a move welcomed by activists.
Congo is the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Angola, with an estimated production of 336,000 barrels of crude oil per day.