Egypt Not Considering Joining OPEC For Time Being - Petroleum Minister

 Egypt Not Considering Joining OPEC for Time Being - Petroleum Minister

Egypt is not planning to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the time being, Tarek El Molla, Egyptian minister of petroleum and mineral resources, told Sputnik on Wednesday on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in the US city Houston

HOUSTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) Egypt is not planning to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the time being, Tarek El Molla, Egyptian minister of petroleum and mineral resources, told Sputnik on Wednesday on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in the US city Houston.

Media reports emerged recently that Egypt could replace Austria as the venue for the next OPEC-non-OPEC meeting. OPEC chief Mohammad Barkindo said Tuesday that Egypt did not submit a membership bid yet but that the organization would be happy to see Egypt in its ranks.

"Not for the time being," El Molla said, when asked whether Egypt was considering to join OPEC.

He stressed that Egypt already had the status of an OPEC observer nation.

"We are already observers in OPEC. I cannot join OPEC now because I am currently an importer of crude.

I am importing crude, so I cannot join," El Molla said.

The minister explained that while Egypt was now considering cutting its oil production, it would not be easy for the country to make this step.

"We are still subsidizing our fuel, and we have a program to reform and to remove the subsidies. Hence, we can't be in a position ... for joining OPEC," El Molla concluded.

On December 7, participants of the OPEC-non-OPEC oil output cut deal, which has been in force since early 2017, agreed to reduce overall production by 1.2 million barrels per day starting from 2019, with a view of signing the charter on future long-term cooperation in the first quarter of 2019. OPEC member states will cut production by 800,000 barrels per day, while non-OPEC countries will reduce it by 400,000 barrels per day.

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