Azerbaijan are in talks with OPEC about joining the group, as the cartel looks to bolster its position amid a surge in U.S. shale oil. An agreement with 10 non-OPEC members, including Azerbaijan, that has cut production and boosted oil price ends this year, and some cartel officials are concerned it won’t be extended. That has left the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries looking for ways to broaden its reach in more formal ways, analysts say. OPEC already has added two members in recent years, bringing its membership to 14. Though not a major oil producer, Azerbaijan’s membership also would help OPEC’s relationship with Russia, which has been pivotal in cutting production. – Wall Street Journal

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