OPEC PRODUCTION CUT: Nigeria did not ask for exemption, Kachikwu says

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) did not grant Nigeria further exemption in the current output cut deal because the country did not request for further exemption.

Kachikwu, who stated this in an interview with THISDAY, said: “We didn’t ask for exemption; we wanted to make sure everybody shared in the pain. If some happenstance occur, you are expected to come back to ask for exemption”.

It would be recalled that OPEC and their non-OPEC allies agreed to cut their outputs by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day (mbd), with OPEC countries accounting for 800,000 barrels a day (bpd) of the cut, while non-OPEC will cut 400,000 bpd.

According to Kachikwu, Nigeria could contribute up to 40,000 bpd to the 800,000 bpd OPEC will take out, representing about 2.5 per cent of the 1.7mbpd current production level of Nigeria.

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On the output deal negotiations, Kachikwu said: “We had to navigate that. Nigeria had the unique responsibility of having to navigate the Saudis who we get along very well with, and the Iranians, who we get along very well with, and then try to sort of forge them to decide over and by the time we left yesterday (Thursday), some had agreed on the volume of cuts; some on the concept of cut or whether or not the language will be written into the resolution that will be announced.

“It was more of the mechanics of how do you present it to the market as opposed to the substance of the resolution itself and that was what we broke yesterday and decided to take a break and come back with cool heads today.

“If you are a unique country and your unique circumstances require that you will be given attention in a particular month to be exempted from that cut, you will write to the President of the OPEC Assembly and he will review that and come up with a decision,” Kachikwu explained.

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