FG Recommits to Raising Crude Output as OPEC+ Keeps Production Unchanged

•Oil nears $90 a barrel

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government yesterday announced that it conformed with the quota allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January and February, but noted that it was willing to raise output for the nation’s ‘prosperity’.

Also, a meeting of senior OPEC+ ministers kept oil output policy unchanged and pressed some countries to increase compliance with output cuts, a decision that spurred international crude prices to their highest in five months at nearly $90 a barrel.

A ministerial committee of the OPEC and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, met online yesterday to review the market and members’ implementation of output cuts, Reuters reported.

Oil has rallied this year, driven by tighter supply, attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and war in the Middle East. Brent crude rose to trade near $90, its highest since late October 2023, after the meeting ended.

OPEC+ members, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, last month agreed to extend voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of June to support the market.

“The 53rd meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) took place via videoconference on Wednesday, 03 April 2024.

“The JMMC reviewed the crude oil production data for the months of January and February 2024 and noted the high conformity for participating OPEC and non-OPEC countries of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC).

“The committee welcomed the Republic of Iraq and the Republic of Kazakhstan pledge to achieve full conformity as well as compensate for overproduction. The committee also welcomed the announcement by the Russian Federation that its voluntary adjustments in the second quarter of 2024 will be based on production instead of exports.

“Participating countries with outstanding overproduced volumes for the months of January, February and March 2024 will submit their detailed compensation plans to the OPEC Secretariat by 30 April 2024.

“The committee will continue to monitor the conformity of the production adjustments decided upon at the 35th meeting held on 4 June 2023, and the additional voluntary production adjustments announced by some participating OPEC and participating non-OPEC countries in April 2023, and the subsequent adjustments in November 2023 and February 2024.

“The committee will continue to closely assess market conditions and noted the willingness of the DoC countries to address market developments and their readiness to take additional measures at any time building on the strong cohesion between OPEC and participating non-OPEC oil-producing countries. The next meeting of the JMMC is scheduled for 01 June 2024,” a statement thereafter released by OPEC stated.

Data from S&P Commodity Insights, known as Platts, showed the group overproduced by a net 275,000 bpd in January and by 175,000 bpd in February. Platts is one of the secondary sources used by OPEC+ to assess its members’ production.

Gabon, Iraq and Kazakhstan were the main members that produced above their quotas for the two months, the survey said.

When the voluntary curbs expire at the end of June, the total cuts by OPEC+ are set to decline to 3.66 million bpd as agreed in earlier steps starting in 2022.

After the meeting attended virtually by the Minister of State, Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the minister stated that although Nigeria was committed to conformity to OPEC quota, it was also interested in ramping up oil production.

“Reviewing the January and February production quota of OPEC and Non-OPEC countries of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) at the 53rd Meeting of the JMMC, we are in conformity with OPEC quota.

“While maintaining conformity, we must prioritise our nation’s prosperity. Thus, we remain committed to our objective of increasing production. This strategic decision aligns with our vision for economic growth and energy security.

“As we navigate dynamic market conditions, our resolve to optimise production remains unwavering, ensuring sustainable development for our nation and contributing positively to the global energy landscape,” Lokpobiri said on his X handle.

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