04 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has explained what the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC wants Nigeria to do as regards the ongoing oil cut/cap deal to shore up prices.
The minister during a live interview with Bloomberg TV after OPEC’s 173rd meeting with its non-OPEC partners in Vienna, Austria, said OPEC had asked the country to be “disciplined” with its production output.
OPEC and its partners agreed to extend current production agreement for another 9 months, and the Declaration of Cooperation amended to take effect for the whole year of 2018 from January to December 2018.
Nigeria and Libya committed to join the production reduction agreement once they are able to produce collectively a volume of 2.8 million barrels per day with Nigeria put at 1.8 million barrels per day and Libya, 1 million barrels per day.
“We have been asked to be disciplined,” he said.
“Nigeria has resisted the cut word. Capping obviously has been acceptable to me. We have been asked not to just fill the market because we have been exempted. There’s a lot of energy trying to bring everybody into the ball packer,” he said.
“Nigeria is willing to be in the ball packer” Kachikwu quickly added.
However, the country’s output is still behind OPEC’s stipulated quota due to challenges in reaching optimum production capacity.
“We are not going to reach maximum any time soon”, he said.
Nigeria’s current production is about 1.75 million barrels per day minus condensates, “and we have been given 1.8m benchmark which is comforting. We will see a lot of pressure as we go into 2018,” the minister said.
Asked when the country is likely to reach maximum set quota by OPEC, “close to late next year, we should be producing between 2.3-2.5mb/d if not for the cap”, he said.