OPEC Meeting: Oil Price Stability Tops Nigeria, S/Arabia Agenda
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and his counterpart from Saudi Arabia, Khalid Al-Falih, held talks yesterday on the need to present a harmonized position ahead of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6.
Both ministers, who briefed the press in Abuja after meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said stability in the price of oil was important for their countries.
“There is an absolute resolve from both countries to ensure that as we go to Vienna, we go with one voice and whatever action that needs to be taken to stabilize oil price will be taken,” Kachikwu told reporters during a world press conference in Abuja.
OPEC and its allies led by Russia will meet in Vienna in a week’s time amid concerns over whether there would be output cut to shore up oil prices.
Oil prices have crashed more than 25 percent since climbing to a four-year high in early October. The sharp decline has increased the pressure on the OPEC alliance for another round of supply cuts.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $59.71 a barrel yesterday afternoon, down by about 0.8 percent.
Saudi Arabia has come under renewed pressure from US President Donald Trump, who is publicly in favour of low fuel prices and has repeatedly urged OPEC not to cut production.
“I am confident the producers that will be at the meeting will do the right thing to give consumers comfort in 2019,” said the Saudi oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih.
“2019 is going to be a year the oil market is going to be stable,” he added. He said his country will not cut oil output on its own to stabilize the market and that such decision would be a collective one.
“As Saudi Arabia we cannot do it alone, we will not do it alone,” Falih said.
“Everybody is longing (to) reach a decision that brings stability back to the market … I think people know that leaving the market to its own devices with no clarity and no collective decision to balance the market is not going to help.”
When asked if Nigeria would seek to have an exemption if cuts are agreed upon, Kachikwu said it was too early to say.
“All I will say is that Nigeria is very committed to working with OPEC, even when we had exemptions it was very carefully analysed but we will continue to work for it.”
Kachikwu said Nigeria was equally seeking Saudi Arabia’s help on other areas including refining and petrochemicals.
“We are struggling with our refineries, they are refineries’ self-sufficient and are massive exporters of refined petroleum products which is a dream I have longed for. We are going to look at ways we would collaborate on those areas,” he said.