The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on June 27 said that it has not invited South America’s newest oil producer – Guyana to become a member, contrary to a Wall Street Journal report.
“In view of recent reports about Guyana being invited to become a Member of OPEC, while the Organisation recognises that Guyana is an emerging player in the international oil market with significant potential, OPEC has not invited Guyana to become a Member of the Organisation,” it said.
The WSJ article on June 26 with the headline “OPEC woos Guyana, Tiny Nation That Sits Atop Massive Oil Field” first carried the narrative, which was then picked by other popular news sites, including Reuters.
WSJ said that the oil cartel is “courting Guyana to become its newest member” to extend its influence in South America, quoting people familiar with the matter.
“Both Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman and Haitham al-Ghais, OPEC’s secretary-general, invited Guyana to join the cartel in recent months, according to two OPEC delegates briefed on the approach,” said the WSJ article.
But it appears that this did not happen.
In the OPEC statement, it said that Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat was invited to partake in the 8th International OPEC Seminar scheduled for 5-6 July in Vienna, “as have a wide array of OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries, as well as representatives of consuming countries, intergovernmental organisations, oil and energy companies, academics and other industry experts.”
“OPEC will continue to reach out to other producers, as well as consumers, to build further bridges for dialogue and cooperation, in the interests of overall oil market stability,” the statement ended.