Despite marginal increase in crude oil production by Nigeria, the Secretary General of the Orgarnisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Muhamad Barkindo has said the exemption granted to the country from the current oil production cut would remain.
Barkindo who is visiting Nigeria for the first time since his election in June last year, said in Abuja that Nigeria alongside Libya and Iran, was granted a six-month exemption from the production cuts aimed at reducing oil inventories to boost prices.
The former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) expressed optimism that the agreement reached between OPEC countries and non-OPEC countries including Russia would be sustained as prices continue to rise.
According to The Authority he declared that oil market has turned the corner in the crisis that began in the summer of 2014 that saw oil price crashed from $110 to $29 early last year.
He said: “The OPEC ministers in their own wisdom decided for the first since 2008, to cap production to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels per day and secondly also directed us to begin to work earnestly with non-OPEC to bring them on board in order for them also to contribute their own quota to the restoration of stability to the market.
“The consideration was that our member countries particularly Nigeria, Libya and Iran that have been facing sever challenges in their domestic industries should not be expected to participate in this new supply arrangement.
“Nigeria had a point lost over 800,000 barrels, Libya had lost nearly 1.5 million barrels per day and Iran saw its export shrinking by nearly one million barrels per day. And so the council of ministers decided that these three countries should be given special considerations in the implementation of the Algiers Accord according to The Authority.
“And when we met in Vienna on 30th November to begin the process of implementations by agreeing on the ceiling 32.5m we reaffirmed the positions of these three countries”.
The decision is six months and the countries will continue to enjoy the benefits as they try to recover their production quotas.
Barkindo who praised the role played by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu in convincing OPEC members and non-OPEC members in reaching the agreement, said Nigeria is well respected among the countries because of him.
He said OPEC continues to monitor the market and the implementation of the agreement, said the group was hopeful that the price stability will hold.
He said the level of conformity to the agreement was about 95 percent among OPEC members and lower among non-OPEC members. While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari and Kachikwu for pushing for his candidacy and election as OPEC scribe, he assured them that he will not fail Nigeria in his new assignment.
Speaking at the event, Kachikwu commended the Barkindo for achieving the production cut agreement, saying it was a testament of what he brought to the organization.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru has disclosed that attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta has dropped
Baru who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja said “Pipeline vandalism has dropped by about 30 percent as against what we had last year. This is an indicator to the calm that has returned. Of course some of the enabling environment for business that picked up included the rise in the price of crude oil and the resolution of cash call made significant contribution to the revival of the industry this year and beyond”.