By Udeme Akpan
THE price of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium oil grade has risen from $66.00 to $67.48 per barrel, the highest in recent times, as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC; continue to eliminate excess oil from the global market.
This showed an excess of $6.48 against the $60 per barrel reference price of the nation’s 2019 budget.
The price of other crude oil grades – Brent, WTI and OPEC Basket – stood at $67.69, $58.45 and $66.30 in the market.
Meanwhile, OPEC that has been encouraging members, including Nigeria to cut output has given impression that the market would be stable in the coming months.
Speaking in Washington DC, USA, March 8, 2019, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, stated: “We have seen plenty of ups and downs for the oil industry in the decades that followed, too many to fully elaborate on over a lunch! It is clear that cycles are part of the market’s ever-evolving nature and we cannot eliminate the ups and downs of these altogether. However, we can look to help smooth the passage of the cycles through focusing on a balanced market, and helping support a stable environment.
“It is also important to remember that cycles today have a far wider and greater impact than they did during the times of Edwin Drake. Today, the size, scope, and complexity of the global oil market make it almost unique among physical commodities. Currently close to 100 million barrels of oil are produced and consumed every day, and over 60 million barrels are exported. Moreover, the importance of oil and the crucial role that it plays globally make it perhaps the most strategic growth engine of the global economy.
“Oil is the lifeblood that fuels the current civilization and keeps modernization moving. This further reinforces the point I made earlier: the true scale of the industry and its strategic value to both producers and consumers underscores the importance of sustainable oil market stability.
“It was still a dark time for the industry, which had been greatly impacted by the severe three-year downturn from 2014-2016. However, if you permit me to say, there was a chink of light. My visit came only a few days after we had put together the landmark ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ in Vienna between 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producing nations.”