APPA pledges support for OPEC’s initiatives

Vienna, Austria, 2 December 2016--The African Petroleum Producers' Association (APPA) has pledged its full support for OPEC’s ongoing efforts to reverse the decline in the price of crude, which has affected the international oil market since the middle of 2014.

A communiqué issued by the Association and signed by its President, Adama Tounkara, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy of Côte d'Ivoire, stated: “We declare our support for the process of addressing the fall in oil prices taken on by OPEC and we support any effort by its Member Countries in this price stabilization process for the oil markets.”

APPA pointed to the “major role” OPEC is playing in its determination to stabilize the international oil market.

The communiqué said that having reviewed the global oil market situation, which was characterized by the drastic drop in crude oil prices since June 2014, and in recognizing the impact of this decline on the economies of APPA countries, the Association welcomed the agreement reached by OPEC in September 2016 in Algeria, announcing the Organization’s commitment to reduce OPEC oil production.

“Considering this exceptional decision taken by OPEC in Algiers, it gave real impetus to the market and showed a new period for addressing the reduction in oil prices,” it said.

OPEC has since followed up on its ‘Algiers Accord’ by agreeing to cut its total oil production by 1.2 million barrels/day from 1 January 2017, in support of oil market stability.

This decision was taken by the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference held in Vienna, Austria, on 30 November.

The APPA communiqué was issued following a directive by the 52nd Ordinary Meeting of the Committee of Experts of APPA, which was held in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, on 10-13 October 2016.

The Committee called on the APPA President to “make a supporting statement” for the initiative taken by OPEC during its 170th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference in Algeria.

The meeting was chaired by Franck TIGRI, Deputy Director of Cabinet, representing the Minister of Energy, Water and Mines of the Republic of Benin, who in his opening remarks urged the experts to work objectively in the interest of the Association and to propose pertinent recommendations to the Council of Ministers in a global context marked by the very low level of crude oil prices.

APPA is an intergovernmental organization set up in 1987 in Lagos, Nigeria. It serves as a platform for African petroleum producing countries to cooperate, collaborate and share knowledge and experience.

It aims to promote common policy initiatives and projects in all facets of the petroleum industry with a view to maximizing the developmental and welfare benefits accruable from petroleum exploitation activities in its Member Countries, in particular, and Africa in general.

Specifically, it promotes cooperation among Member Countries in hydrocarbons exploration, production, refining, petrochemicals, manpower development, acquisition and the adaptation of technology and legal matters.

It also furthers technical assistance among Member Countries and supports the coordination of Members’ marketing policies and strategies through exchange of information.

In addition, it seeks to increase the understanding of the respective energy situations and policies in Member Countries and studies ways and means of providing assistance to net oil-importing African countries to meet their energy requirements.

On its website, the Association says it is convinced that African petroleum producers are better positioned to create maximum leverage from their resource endowments when they adopt a common platform for oil and gas policy initiatives and development strategy.

APPA currently comprises 18 Member Countries, including five OPEC Member States - Algeria, Angola, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria. The others are: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, South Africa and Sudan.

Altogether, these countries account for virtually the totality of Africa's oil and gas reserves and output.

APPA sees its long-term role as that of a strategic focal point in hydrocarbon development matters in Africa.

The Association says it is committed to seeking understanding, cooperation and partnerships primarily within but also outside the African continent.

“The Association is determined to work vigorously with regional as well as international organizations/institutions in the process of transforming its vision into continuing beneficial results for its Member Countries,” APPA says on its website.

“The Association is aware that it must continuously deliver on its vision, in order to remain worthwhile to its stakeholders.”

The idea of creating such an association dates back to the 1980s. It was in Brioni, Yugoslavia in 1984, on the sidelines of an OPEC Conference, that four African oil producers and OPEC Members suggested Africa adopt a continental structure in the field of hydrocarbons.

Two years later, Libreville, the capital of Gabon, hosted the first meetings of experts for drafting the texts of the new association.

Then, in January 1987, eight African countries - Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria - held a meeting in Lagos to create APPA.

Today, the Association has its Headquarters in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo.