Nigeria’s deputy minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu on Thursday secured extension for the country’s exemption from oil output cuts as the 2nd Meeting of the OPEC and Non-OPEC oil producing countries agreed to maintain output curbs, due to expire next month, until March 2018.
The Conference also agreed to extend the special consideration given to Nigeria and Libya from participation in the production cut.
This comes as Nigeria and Russia have agreed to begin talks on how to explore mutually beneficial interests in oil investments.
This decision for the special consideration was taken despite speculation before the meeting that Nigeria was going to be made to participate in the production cut in view of the improvements it has recorded in oil production since the first agreement came into effect.
A number of both OPEC and Non-OPEC countries had expressed their interest to see that Nigeria was brought into the fold.
Kachikwu who also headed Nigerias Delegation to the OPEC Conference, speaking on the sidelines of the meeting raised optimism that between the six to nine months window, Nigeria should get to the optimal production figures and will be willing to join any needed production cuts.
In his words, “Nigeria is not averse to production cuts as every responsible nation needs to make sacrifices to help price stability on a global basis. This optimism is informed by his belief that the Nigerian oil industry under his guidance is on course to achieving the objectives of the 7BIGWINS, which will see to the major overhaul of the industry including ramping up local crude production”.
OPEC and non-OPEC member countries on Thursday, in Vienna came with a resolution to extend the agreement reached at their first meeting in December 2016 to cut global crude oil production in order to rebalance the oil market.
The Ministers agreed to extend the six months 1.8 million barrels per day production cut which took effect from January 1, 2017 by another nine months at the expiration of the current agreement period on June 30, 2017.
The decision to extend the production cut was taken in recognition of the positive impact the first agreement has made on the market in its first five months of implementation and also the fact that more needs to be done to rebalance market fundamentals.
The Ministers commended all participating countries to the agreement for the unprecedented compliance displayed by the countries, and called on them not to relent in their efforts to ensure that the instability that has characterized the oil market in recent years is minimized to the barest minimum.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Kachikwu also met with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak where they explored areas of mutual interest in the oil industry to their countries. Kachikwu had expressed Nigerias interest in having Russia and Russians come to participate in the growing oil sector of the country, pointing out that the reforms and processes being put in place which aims to enhance the investment climate in Nigeria, has recorded major achievements with the ongoing implementation of the 7 BigWins -Nigerian Petroleum Roadmap.
Responding, Minister Novak assured Kachikwu that Russia is interested in participating in the Nigerian oil industry and would suggest that preliminary technical talks begin as soon as possible between the two countries. Novak extended an invitation to Kachikwu to visit Russia during the next Gas Exporting Countries Forum Ministerial Meeting, scheduled for next October, where further talks on the matter can take place.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja