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Sudan says it has been invited to join Opec

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has invited Sudan to join the powerful oil-industry cartel, the official Suna news agency reported on Thursday.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, whose country holds the rotating chair of Opec, extended the invitation in a message delivered on Wednesday to Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, the agency said.

“Al-Beshir expressed his appreciation to the Nigerian president and promised to study the invitation and respond to it in the future,” Suna said.

Sudan’s current output of 500 000 barrels per day leaves it far behind African oil giants like Nigeria, but its production is increasing steadily.

Sudanese officials have said recently they hoped to hike total output to 650 000 barrels per day by the end of the year and have set a target of 1,1-million barrels per day for 2010.

China, the world’s second-largest energy consumer after the United States, has its largest overseas oil production operation in Sudan and is eyeing more deals as the war-torn country’s oil sector picks up.

Sudan has been attending Opec meetings as an observer for years. The 11-nation organisation is due to hold its next meeting on June 1. — AFP

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