*Country’s production still below OPEC’s benchmark of 1.8mb/d
*To keep production at about 1.7mb/d for next 6 months
*Real reason Kachikwu not attending OPEC’s July 24 meeting
13 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria will not be joining the Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC’s cap just yet, Sweetcrude Reports has learned.
According to sources close to the situation, the Minister for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the country is just recovering from months of shut-in oil due to militancy, therefore, asking the country to cap production and export, is too soon.
Sweetcrude Reports also learned that Nigeria’s current production is still below 1.8 million barrels set for the country by OPEC.
“Nigeria’s production is still below OPEC’s 1.8 million barrels per day target for us so, we won’t be capping soon, and nobody can force us to. Whatever glut is in the market should be blamed on the U.S shale and not us. If anybody should be asked to cap, it should be the U.S but unfortunately, the country does not belong to any group,” he said.
“Besides, if there are no more attacks from militants, we should be looking at managing output at about 1.7 million barrels per day for the next four to six months”, he added.
OPEC members have been clamouring for Nigeria and Libya to join the cap deal, as production and exports from the two countries have been reportedly disrupting efforts to end glut and boost prices.
As a result, Nigeria and Libya have been invited to OPEC’s joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting scheduled for July 24 in St. St. Petersburg in Russia.
However, Kachikwu in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja said he would not be attending the meeting as he would be hosting a two-day meeting of the 17 African ministers of Petroleum Producing Countries, AMPOC in Abuja on the same day.
In a twist, we got the hint that although it is true the Minister would be hosting the AMPOC meeting same day, however, the real reason he would be absent is to guard against being pressured into accepting to cap.
“Yes it’s true he would be hosting the AMPOC meeting but, he could have sent a representative there if he really wants our presence there. He doesn’t want to be pressurized into accepting what would not benefit the country. Don’t forget, it’s just one and half months that Nigeria resumed full production and export since the spate of militancy attacks. We are just recovering so, capping is not an option for the country,” he said.
While speaking yesterday, Kachikwu said the OPEC, non-OPEC’s dialogue must be sustained to maintain the price level, which has remained stable in the last one year.
He said Nigeria had established an internalised mechanism for control to manage the gradual price movement in the market, by ensuring that not all the barrels it was capable of producing is injected into the market immediately.