Ecuador, South America’s fifth-largest oil producer, has confirmed that it wants to rejoin the OPEC oil producers’ cartel. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said membership would open many new opportunities, including easier access to loans from banks in the Middle East. OPEC has already indicated that Ecuador could rejoin at any time, and its bid has been backed by Venezuela. Ecuador left the cartel in 1992 owing a debt of more than USD 5 billion. Some members have called for Ecuador to repay the money before it is allowed to rejoin. (BBC)

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