Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday extended Nigeria’s exemption from crude oil production cap following the countries plea to be exempted until it stabilises its production.

The extension was at the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of OPEC and Non OPEC Countries which ended in Vienna on Friday afternoon , according to a statement issued by Director of Press at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Idang Alibi.

Following glut in the international crude oil market, OPEC had required its members to cut down on their oil production quota in order to stabilise prices in the international oil market.

Exemption was granted to Nigeria because domestic crisis had prevented the nation from meeting its quota of 1.8 million barrels per day. However, the situation had recently improved following negotiated peace in the Niger Delta oil producing region.

The exemption was first granted to Nigeria in the November 2016 Ministerial Conference and extended by the May Ministerial Conference. Nigeria, however, had been basing its budget for some years now on crude oil production of 2.2mbpd.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who led Nigeria’s delegation to the meeting in Vienna had argued that although Nigeria’s production recovery efforts have made some appreciable progress since October 2016, Nigeria was not yet out of the woods.

He noted that even though Nigeria hit 1.802mbpd in the month of August, that was not enough justification for a call by some countries for Nigeria to be brought into the quota sealing.

Kachikwu emphasised that Nigeria, as one of the older members of OPEC, would continue to work for the good of the organisation and its member countries, respecting whatever agreements and resolutions that are collectively made.

He stated that Nigeria would be prepared to cap its crude production when it has stabilised at 1.8mbpd.

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