By Etuka Sunday
The meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non OPEC Countries ended in Vienna on Friday afternoon endorsing 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.
Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, 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 is not yet out of the woods.
He 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.
Dr. Kachikwu emphasized that Nigeria, as one of the older members of OPEC will continue to work for the good of the Organization and its member countries, respecting whatever agreements and resolutions are collectively made.
In a statement by the Director, Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, the Minister stated that Nigeria will be prepared to cap its crude production when it has stabilized at 1.8 million barrels per day.
Minister Kachikwu said that although Nigeria is not a member of the 5 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 support and also to clarify Nigeria’s position on its crude oil production.
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.