By Udeme Akpan
THE Federal Government’s 2019 budgetary estimates may still be sustained despite a significant cut in output as price of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium oil grade has risen to $68.09 per barrel in the global market, about $8.09 above the $60 budgeted benchmark.
Yesterday’s prices also showed that prices of Brent, West Texas Intermediate, WTI and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 15 crudes firmed up at $59.66, $66.90 and $66.91 respectively.
The rise in the general price level was attributed to the increased efforts of OPEC and others to eliminate excess oil from the market.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has cut its oil production by 400,000 barrels per day, bpd, from 2.2 million bpd produced in December 2018 to 1.9 million bpd in January 2019, in support of OPEC’s oil cut initiative.
However, the organisation which raised hope that the market would witness increased stability in the market has called on all stakeholders to cooperate with OPEC.
Speaking at the 13th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 18 March 2019, Baku, Azerbaijan, HE Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, Venezuela’s People’s Minister of Petroleum and President of the OPEC Conference said: “The JMMC has proven to be a collaborative, resilient and adaptable platform that has been able to help address imbalances in the market, and allow us to deliver on the objectives of the historic ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.
“The OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, and his able Secretariat team should also be greatly appreciated for their continued great support, not only to the Organization, but to all the nations in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.
“We also need to recognize that we are living in a fast changing world of new energy realities; one where we need to continually evolve, enhances the gravitas of OPEC and this historic cooperation, and further our outreach to all stakeholders.
“Looking back over the past two years or so, we should be proud of our joint efforts. Since the beginning of the historical cooperation for oil market stability in January 2017, participating countries to the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ have consistently honoured their voluntary commitments and achieved remarkable success.”
He said: “However, we need to recognize the ever-evolving nature of the market, and be ready to take the necessary actions so as to continue to fully support the objectives of the ‘Declaration’. This was evident in the unanimous decisions taken in December 2018 at the 175th Meeting of the Conference and the 5th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting to voluntary adjust production by a combined 1.2 million barrels a day throughout the first half of 2019.
“It is evident that since the beginning of the year overall conformity levels to these new voluntary production adjustments have improved and are expected to further advance in the coming months. It is vital that all participating countries remain steadfast in their focus on the full and timely implementation of the decisions taken in December 2018.
“Moreover, we also need to be cognizant of how this vital ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ partnership evolves. The basic premise of further strengthening our cooperation with our non-OPEC partners within a Charter of Cooperation between oil producing countries was unanimously “endorsed in principle” by Ministers in December.”