OPEC may expand to include allied oil makers, UAE strength minister Suhail al-Mazroui says

United Arab Emirates Minister for Energy Suhail al-Mazroui said Tuesday there is “definitely” an appetite for non-OPEC members to join the 14-member cartel.

When asked if the non-OPEC countries currently complying to the global supply cuts could sooner or later become official associates of the cartel, al-Mazroui replied: “Now there is definitely a willingness and a desire to expand OPEC.”

“It would have been difficult to attempt to rebalance the marketplace alone therefore i think there is a rationale for this group to stay together… and perhaps even expand,” he said at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (ADIPEC).

OPEC members are reportedly forming a consensus around extending by 9 months their production reducing deal with additional crude exporters. That would prolong the contract among OPEC, Russia and nine additional oil-producing nations to keep 1.8 million barrels a day time off the market through the whole of next year.

The exporters reached the deal last December and also have already expanded the agreement once through March 2018.

At ADIPEC on Monday, OPEC Secretary Basic Mohammed Barkindo lauded the compliance of OPEC and non-OPEC nations to the global supply cut deal. He as well said he anticipated all 24 OPEC and non-OPEC countries to take part in the cartel’s upcoming appointment.

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