(Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged to help Namibia become a significant crude producer, widening a path for the southern African nation to join the cartel.

“We are excited about the potential of the Namibia-OPEC partnership and stand ready to offer support at this crucial juncture,” OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais said in a pre-recorded message broadcast at a conference in Windhoek, the capital. 

TotalEnergies SE, Shell Plc and Galp Energia SGPS SA have made multiple finds offshore Namibia in the past two years. The government has said it would consider joining the cartel if the discoveries turn out to be significant.

Read More: Namibia Sees Final Investment Decision on Oil Find by End 2024

Global oil demand will grow to 116 million barrels a day by 2045 and “Namibia oil and energy will be essential in meeting future demand,” Al Ghais said. “We encourage potential investors to look at Namibia and the abundance of possibilities here.”

--With assistance from Kaula Nhongo and Grant Smith.

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