In an effort to help stem the falling price of crude oil in the international market, Nigeria has agreed to freeze its crude oil production at 2.2 million barrels per day this month, which is the same level it recorded in January.
Nigeria’s action followed those of Saudi Arabia and Russia that have agreed to freeze oil output at near-record levels. It is the first joint attempt by the world’s two largest producers to counter a crash that has had negative influence on economies, markets and companies for a while now.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu made this disclosure after meeting with Qatar’s Energy Minister, Mohammed Al Sada and Qatar Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Saad Sharida Al Kaabi in Doha. He said the decision was in support Saudi Arabia and Russia’s decision to freeze oil production.
For Kachikwu, however, the objective for looking for ways to increase crude oil production is not necessarily for export purpose but for local consumption.
“Nigeria will continue to look at the possibility of increasing production, not to sell it, because we have local consumption that is essential for us.
“Right now, we are not even exporting the quantity that OPEC has given us. Demand from domestic refineries is at least 500,000 barrels of oil a day.”
The minister also suggested on how Iran and Iraq could regain some of the market share they lost due to sanctions and war.
According to him:
“Countries like Iran and Iraq have been out of the market for a while and if they are to come back you should not freeze them out where they are, you should freeze them at a higher level. By June, we will come very close to tightening the market.”