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OPEC approves Republic of Congo's membership bid, bringing total to 15 countries

Vienna — OPEC on Friday approved the Republic of Congo's membership application "withimmediate effect," the organization said Friday.

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Congo, which produces about 250,000 to 300,000 b/d, becomes OPEC's 15thmember.

Its production would rank 13th in OPEC, ahead of fellow African producersGabon and Equatorial Guinea. With just one 20,000 b/d refinery currentlyoperating at around half its capacity, Congo exports almost all of its oil.

Also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo is the smaller of twocountries sharing similar names which border the Congo River in centralwestern Africa. Its larger neighbor to the south is the Democratic Republic ofCongo, also referred to as DR Congo or Zaire.

OPEC has seen a recent boost in its African ranks, with Gabon reactivating itsmembership in July 2016 and Equatorial Guinea joining in May 2017. Angola andNigeria are OPEC 's other sub-Saharan members, while Algeria and Libya make upits North African contingent.

Uganda and South Sudan have also expressed interest in becoming members.


--Edited by Jonathan Fox,