Angola to Quit OPEC in Dispute Over Oil Production Levels

Officials have been unhappy after the oil cartel, led by Saudi Arabia, pushed Angola and other countries to accept lower production ceilings.


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In a sign of lingering tensions among oil producers, Angola said Thursday that the country would be leaving OPEC. The decision was made at a cabinet meeting led by President Joao Lourenco, the state-owned Jornal de Angola reported.

Angola’s announcement was not surprising. The country’s leaders have been seething ever since Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, orchestrated a move last June to reduce the oil output quotas of Angola, Nigeria and other countries, while increasing the ceiling for the United Arab Emirates.

“Angola never reconciled to the deal that enabled the U.A.E. to increase for 2024 at the expense of the underperforming African producers,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodities at RBC Capital Markets, a research firm, in an email. Ms. Croft said Angola had been “one of the moodier members, having staged multiple meeting walkouts in recent years.”

Angola’s decision to leave OPEC is an indication of how the current dynamics of the oil industry are squeezing some producers. Once one of the more promising oil countries, Angola has seen its output plummet nearly 40 percent in the last eight years as international oil companies tightening their belts no longer found it an attractive destination for investment, given the aging of its oil fields. Nigeria’s production has fallen for similar reasons.

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