Nigeria to resist OPEC oil production cap

Director, Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Petroleum, Olusegun Adekunle (left); Governor, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Umar Farouk and Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, during a press briefing on critical national issues in oil and gas industry in Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

Nigeria will reject the attempt by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce the crude oil quota granted it at its last Ordinary Meeting in Vienna, Austria.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated in Abuja yesterday that though Nigeria is recovering her oil production, the recovery is still not at the level she can tolerate reduction in the 1.8 million barrels per day granted her in May.

Kachikwu hinted that Nigeria currently produces 1.7million barrels per day, which falls below the 1.8 million threshold OPEC set at its last meeting.

Indeed, the Secretary General of OPEC, Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, stated at the on-going World Petroleum Congress holding in Istanbul, Turkey, that Nigeria and Libya are recovering faster than earlier thought.

A source told The Guardian last night: “Nigeria will resist the attempt at reducing our quota because we believe that the ordinary meeting that approved the increment is superior to group that is proposing this cut.‘’

The decision at the OPEC Ordinary meeting that took place in May in Vienna, Austria, took a decision to allow Nigeria supply 1.8million barrels per day to the market till the end of first quarter of 2018. Nigeria sometimes meet the figure and sometimes also fail to meet it. The production figures have been fluctuating.”

Nigeria will not be attending a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC members slated for Russia on the July 24, saying, “Nigeria was not invited to the Russia meeting. It is a meeting of five countries – three from OPEC and two from non-OPEC members. We believe that the meeting cannot upturn the decision taken by OPEC in its last meeting in May. Nigeria will stand by that decision.”

The Minister was quick to add that the imminent disagreement notwithstanding, Nigeria will remain a strong ally of OPEC, saying, “Nigeria remain supportive of OPEC in its efforts to stabilize the prices. We all know the amount of work done by OPEC to get Nigeria that concession. With negotiation going on right now, we are hopeful that the price stability we are seeking will happen later this month or early August.”

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