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Nigeria ready to beg OPEC for extension of oil production cuts exemption

As duration for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cuts window draws near, federal government has given an indication that it will prevail on the global oil cartel to extend Nigeria’s exemption considering the observed monetary strikes by militants in the oil rich region of Niger Delta. The window is expected to end soon.

OPEC had considered the raging hostilities in Nigeria, Iran, and Libya to grant cut waivers for the trio for six months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, at a world news conference in Houston on Wednesday disclosed that Nigeria will seek for a further six-month extension of its exemption from reducing oil production.

As the expiration of the production cut deal draws near, OPEC is due to meet on May 24 in Vienna where decision on extension of the pact would be discussed though there have been recommendations from different quarters for OPEC to extend the deal for another six months from June.

He said “The indications that I have so far is that there is willingness to extending that. I expect we (Nigeria) will get OPEC exemption but one year from now will it be renewed? I am not too sure”.

“Over and above extending, we need to continue to engage; we need to find a way to stabilise international oil price, otherwise everybody will lose out.

He said the country would need a little more time to complete a number of critical export pipelines, some of which were nearing completion.

It would be recalled that the 13 OPEC members and 11 non-OPEC countries, led by Russia, had agreed on Nov. 30, 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 held down prices for over two years.

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