Nigeria Pledges Necessary Sacrifice for Oil Market Stability
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has said Nigeria will take a favourable position that will benefit the country as members prepare for the forthcoming meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+).
Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other oil producers around the world are set for a video conference on Thursday at 1400 GMT (3pm Nigerian time) after United States President, Mr Donald Trump, last week spoke to Riyadh and Moscow on production cut that could account for as much as 15 percent of global supplies.
Nothing has yet been reached, but Mr Sylva assured in a statement that the country was monitoring the current pandemic and its effect on the Nigerian economy and the global economy.
“As Minister of State for Petroleum, I will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and the global economy.
“In our consultations with global industry stakeholders in the lead up to the OPEC+ meeting scheduled for April 9, the Nigerian Government will take a position that is in the best interest of our short term and long-term economic forecast,” he said.
The petroleum minister assured Nigerians and other stakeholders that the country was watching developments in the oil and gas industry with interest to see where it would sway ahead of the meeting.
“Specifically, Nigeria is very mindful and appreciative of the role of Saudi Arabia and other members of the OPEC family,” he added.
Mr Sylva noted that Nigeria, in the past, had always collaborated with fellow OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia in maintaining a balanced position that had helped make OPEC one of the most successful global institutions in recent history.
According to him, Nigeria intends to maintain this team spirit even as it takes into account the position of OPEC strategic allies such as Russia.
“As always, the driving force of our OPEC policy is first the stability of our national economy as well as the stability of the global economy which is heavily dependent on OPEC and its strategic partners, popularly referred to as OPEC+.
“Nigeria, like the rest of the world has been hit by the global pandemic, COVID-19 and is prepared to join the rest of the world in making the necessary sacrifices needed to stabilize the crude oil market; and to prevent what is likely to be a major global economic meltdown,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, last week Thursday, called for an emergency meeting with OPEC and other producers including Russia, saying it aimed to reach a fair agreement to stabilise oil markets that have crashed on the demand impact from the coronavirus pandemic.
Reuters on Tuesday then reported that the size of any OPEC+ curbs to be discussed at the meeting will depend on volumes other producers such as the United States, Canada and Brazil were willing to cut.
Traders who are watching the developments will be expecting with keen interest as prices have reacted positively to the latest rounds of news, with the International benchmark, Brent Crude, trading up by 2 percent to $33.75 per barrel, while the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was 1.8 percent up to $26.55 per barrel