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Angola to Present OPEC Application

Angola says it will formally apply for membership in the OPEC oil cartel when the group meets in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday.

The southern African nation said last month that it seeks to join the cartel, whose member nations produce about 40 percent of the world's crude oil.

Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, pumping out 1.4 million barrels per day.

OPEC has said Angola would bring "tremendous value" to the cartel. And Tuesday, the energy minister of OPEC member Qatar said his country will support Angola's membership bid.

At the meeting, OPEC members also are expected to discuss further production cuts, to prevent a further drop in world oil prices.

If Angola is admitted to the group, it would be the cartel's first new member since 1975.

Sudan and Ecuador also have expressed interest in joining OPEC. The cartel currently has 11 member countries: Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Indonesia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.