Equatorial Guinea has become the 14th member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Africa’s third biggest oil producer said in January that it was seeking to become the sixth country from the continent to join OPEC after its Mines and Hydrocarbons minister met with officials in Vienna to submit his country’s bid.
OPEC president, Khalid al-Falih who is Saudi Arabia’s Energy minister, on Thursday officially welcomed Equatorial Guinea’s Mines and Hydrocarbons minister, Gabriel Obiang to the group at the 172nd OPEC meeting in Vienna.
The news of Equatorial Guinea’s admission comes as OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on Thursday agreed to extend a deal on production cuts for a further nine months.
OPEC members, Russia and other oil producers last December agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day for 6 months beginning January 1 2017.
The proposal to extend the cuts Saudi Arabia said would help reach the five-year balance needed by the first quarter of 2018.
Equatorial Guinea which first expressed interest in joining OPEC in 2009, was among 10 non-cartel members who last December pledged to reduce oil production by nearly 600,000 barrels per day.
It has since maintained oil output levels at roughly 200,000 barrels per day since making the pledge.