By Yetunde Bada
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says Nigeria will seek for a further six-month extension of its exemption from reducing oil production granted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Kachikwu said this at a world news conference in Houston on Wednesday.
Thirteen OPEC members and 11 non-OPEC countries, led by Russia, had agreed on Nov. 30, 2016 to reduce their production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months beginning from January in an effort to drain a glut of crude that held down prices for over two years.
Member countries at the meeting agreed to exempt Iran, Libya and Nigeria from the deal while Nigeria got the exemption because of the production challenges caused by militant attacks on the country’s oil facilities.
As the expiration of the production cut deal draws near, OPEC is due to meet on May 24 in Vienna where decision on extension of the pact would be discussed though there have been recommendations from different quarters for OPEC to extend the deal for another six months from June.
“The indications that I have so far is that there is a willingness to extending that. I expect we (Nigeria) will get OPEC exemption but one year from now will it be renewed? I am not too sure.
“Over and above extending, we need to continue to engage; we need to find a way to stabilise international oil price, otherwise everybody will lose out,” Kachikwu said.
He said the country would need a little more time to complete a number of critical export pipelines, some of which were nearing completion. (NAN)