April 24, 2018

OPEC exempts Nigeria from oil production cut

24 September 2017, 12:56 | Lionel James



Output cuts by Opec and other oil producers are clearing a supply glut that has weighed on crude prices for three years, ministers said at a meeting on Friday to review the pact that expires in March 2018.

The meeting in Vienna also failed to put a cap on production from Libya and Nigeria, two OPEC members that have been exempt from quotas but where the political situation has - for now - shown some stability, leading to sharp increases in production. The current agreement in cooperation with Russian Federation and other non-OPEC producers to take 1.8 million barrels a day off the market, is in place till March 2018. "All options are left open to ensure that every effort is made to rebalance the market for the benefit of all", the document says.

Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, closed at the highest level since February on Thursday, an increase of more than 25 percent since June, as the world's bloated fuel inventories shrink.

However, the number of USA oil rigs operating, an indicator of future production, fell for the third straight week as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as companies pared back on spending plans when crude prices were softer.

With this exemption, Nigeria is expected to receive more earnings from its oil exports as it would be able to export all the oil it produces even as oil prices have now risen to around $57 per barrel.

Earlier this month, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the dynamic pricing regime would continue despite petrol prices going up by over Rs 7 per litre since the scheme was introduced pan-India from mid-June.

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According to traders, the US crude received some reinforcement from a compelling lure in gasoline stocks from 2.1 million barrels to 216.19 million barrels.

The market for producers has improved since the last time ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies met, said Kuwaiti Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq.

The two African nations are now exempt from cutting output because of internal strife, and recent production gains from both countries have diluted the efforts of other members to boost prices.

In addition, rising crude prices have encouraged U.S. shale oil producers to ramp up output, a further reason why the drawdown on global inventories has taken longer than expected.

The President of the OPEC Conference, Khalid Al-Falih, who is also the Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, also expressed his support for the JMMC, while reiterating his country's commitment to the success of the agreement.

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