By Michael Eboh
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, yesterday, ratified Nigeria’s continued exemption from crude oil production cap.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in a statement signed by its Director of Press, Mr. Idang Alibi, said the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of OPEC and Non-OPEC countries, which ended in Vienna, endorsed Nigeria’s position that the exemption granted it at the November 2016 Ministerial Conference and extended by the May Ministerial Conference should be sustained until it stabilizes its crude oil production.
The statement noted that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, who led Nigeria’s delegation to the meeting had argued that although Nigeria’s production recovery efforts have made some appreciable progress since October last year, Nigeria was not yet out of the woods.
Kachikwu noted that even though Nigeria hit 1.802 million barrels per day in the month of August, that was not enough justification for a call by some countries for Nigeria to be brought into the fold.
Kachikwu emphasized that Nigeria, as one of the older members of OPEC, would continue to work for the good of the organization and its member countries, respecting whatever agreements and resolutions are collectively made.
He stated that Nigeria wouldd be prepared to cap its crude production when it has stabilized at 1.8 million barrels per day.
Kachikwu explained that although Nigeria is not a member of the five nation Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, he had gladly accepted the invitation of the co-chairs of the Committee and the OPEC Conference President to attend the meeting because he believed that the committee was doing a good job and needed to be supported and also added that his attendance was to clarify Nigeria’s position on its crude oil production.
The statement further stated that the meeting noted that overall compliance by OPEC and Non OPEC participating Countries to the Agreement on crude oil production cut for the month of August was 116 per cent, the highest since the agreement came into effect on January 2017.
It further noted that the objectives of the Accord was steadily being achieved with the gradual draw-down of inventories by nearly 50 per cent since the agreement came into effect.