A survey by S&P Global Platts has revealed that Nigeria pumped 190,000 barrels per day of crude oil in February above its agreed quota under the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC current production cut deal.
This revelation is coming after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu had claimed that Nigeria complied with the production cut deal from February.
It would be recalled that OPEC and 10 non-OPEC countries agreed in December to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day effective from January for an initial period of six months to help balance the market and support prices.
Though Nigeria was exempted from the previous production cuts deal, it agreed to a quota under the current accord. With a reference level of 1.738 million bpd, the country was given a new quota of 1.685 million bpd.
However, the S&P Global Platts’s survey showed that Nigeria pumped 1.88 million bpd in February, 190,000 bpd above its cap.
S&P Global Platts’ surveyed industry officials, analysts and shipping data to arrive at the figure.
It is however believed that the production figure may be as a result of production from a new deepwater field, Egina, which Kachikwu, has said he might seek to have those barrels classified by OPEC as condensates and not subject to the quotas.
Nigeria also considers Agbami grade as a condensate, while S&P Global Platts and some other secondary sources used by OPEC to monitor production classify it as crude.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources had revealed recently that the nation’s crude oil production including condensates fell to 1.999 million bpd in January from 2.081 million bpd in December.
It would also be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had said last month that the country could consider a reduction in crude oil production in support of efforts to shore up the price of the commodity.
He said: “As a responsible member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria was willing to go along with the Saudi initiative in limiting output so that prices would go up.”
This commitment by the President is however contrary to the 2.3 million barrels per day the 2019 budget proposal, presented to the National Assembly on December 19 by him was based on.
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