The Federal Government has restated its commitment to fully comply with the country’s crude oil production quota as allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pegged at 1.554 million barrels per day (mbpd) in June.
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, made the pledge at a briefing in Abuja to commemorate Nigeria’s 50th anniversary as a member of the global oil cartel.
The minister noted that allocating quotas to oil producing countries by the OPEC did not adversely affect Nigeria’s crude oil output, pointing out that but for the OPEC’s intervention, prices of crude oil in the global market would have dropped lower than the current prices.
Sylva explained that the 1.554 million barrels per day allocated to Nigeria for June, excluded condensates, stressing that the Federal Government has continued to comply with the quota allocated to the country without exceeding it over the weeks.
According to the minister, despite the current temporary stalemate in the OPEC discussions on oil production quota for member-countries which has necessitated the postponement of the discussions indefinitely, there is no crack in the carte.
He said: “Our OPEC quota is around 1.554 million bpd for crude oil, excluding condensates. We are complying with the OPEC cuts and it really doesn’t hurt us because the danger is that with non-compliance, prices can go the other way round and everything you are producing will fetch you less money.
“It’s the right thing to do and whenever OPEC gives us our quota, we do everything to achieve it. Right now, we are completely compliant with the total that has been allocated to us as Nigeria”, the minister added
Reflecting on Nigeria’s experiences in the OPEC over the past 50 years, Sylva maintained that Nigeria’s relationship with other oil producing member-countries has been of mutual benefits to all members.
The minister also said OPEC had supported the growth of the oil industry in Nigeria through the harmonisation and adoption of policies among its member countries, as well as through the sharing of knowledge and technical expertise.
According to the minister, Nigeria has also contributed to the growth of the OPEC by supporting the efforts of the organisation to balance and stabilize the oil market.
He also noted that in the last 50 years of her membership of the cartel Nigeria has produced six presidents of the OPEC Conference and also presided over 26 OPEC ministerial conference.
Similarly, the minister recalled that Nigeria had produced four OPEC Secretaries-General during the period.
He explained: “This amounts to a total of 15 years of managing the affairs of the OPEC secretariat on behalf of all its members. Nigeria has therefore played a vital role in the evolution of the secretariat and the development of the organization.”
Earlier in his remarks, Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo, recalled that in the last 50 years of Nigeria’s membership of the cartel the relationship between OPEC and Nigeria had positive effects for both the organization and the country.