Nigeria will seek for a further six-month extension of the exemption it got from the production freeze deal reached between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said this at a world press conference in Houston on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. 13 OPEC members and 11 non-OPEC countries led by Russia agreed on 30th November 2016 to reduce their production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months beginning from January in an effort to drain a glut of crude that has depressed prices for over two years.

Member countries at the November meeting agreed to exempt Iran, Libya, and Nigeria from the deal. Nigeria got the exemption because of the production challenges caused by militant attacks on the country’s oil facilities. As the expiration of the production cut deal draws near, OPEC is due to meet on May 24 in Vienna where the decision on the extension of the pact would be discussed.

Although, there have been recommendations from different quarters for OPEC to extend the deal for another six months from June. “the indications that I have so far is that there is a willingness to extending that,” Kachikwu said when asked about the possibility of extending the deal for another six months. “I expect we (Nigeria) will get OPEC exemption but one year from now will it be renewed? I am not too sure” he added

He said the country would need a little more time to complete a number of critical export pipelines. Some of them, he said, are nearing completion. Speaking further, he said: “Over and above extending, we need to continue to engage…We need to find a way to stabilize international oil price otherwise everybody will lose out.”

Johnson Alabi
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