Youcef Yousfi, the energy minister of the North African nation of Algeria, has asked the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to lower its oil production in order to increase oil prices, which have plummeted during the last half of 2014. Algeria is one of 12 OPEC members and the first since the Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna to call for a production cut, apparently ending the unified front OPEC showed in support of current production levels at the meeting.
Oil & Gas Financial Journal featured an exclusive interview with Yousfi in the November issue.
Global oil prices have fallen by more than half in the past year, and the economies of Algeria and several other OPEC member nations have suffered as a result. Non-OPEC oil producers – such as Russia, which is heavily reliant on petroleum exports – have also suffered.
Yousfi called on OPEC to take action to “correct the imbalance” and decrease current oil production levels in order to prop up prices. Algeria and other OPEC members, such as Venezuela and Iran, rely heavily on revenue from petroleum exports to bolster their economies. Earlier this past week, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika also indicated his concern over declining oil revenues.
OPEC was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, in September 1960 by five countries – Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. They were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975), and Angola (2007).
From December 1992 until October 2007, Ecuador suspended its membership. Gabon terminated its membership in 1995. Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009.