Angola has decided to leave the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as it no longer gains anything from the oil producer group, the country’s oil minister said on Thursday.

The decision, taken up at a cabinet meeting, has been approved by Angola’s President Joao Lourenco, the official news agency ANGOP said.

“We feel that at the moment Angola does not gain anything by remaining in the organisation and, in defense of its interests, it has decided to leave,” Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, Diamantino de Azevedo, was quoted as saying.

OPEC member since 2006

Africa’s second-biggest oil producer announced its OPEC exit after a 17-year membership.  The move, which follows disputes over oil production quotas, is seen as a setback to the producer group, which has been imposing output cuts to drive up prices.

Last June, Azevedo reportedly walked out of the OPEC+ meeting over intense discussions regarding African producers’ outputs.  The group agreed last month to further lower oil output in 2024.

Angola insisted that it would keep its oil production at more than 1.18 million barrels per day, higher than the 1.11 million barrels per day quota set by OPEC+ for next year.

On Thursday, the minister said that “when we are in the organisation and our contributions, our ideas, do not produce any effect, the best thing is to exit”.

Angola joined OPEC in 2006. The organisation of 13 states was founded in September 1960 by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran and Venezuela.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)