BUSINESS and FINANCE

Nigeria to Increase Oil Production for Local Consumption

Nigeria will continue to increase the production of crude oil even as the prices of the commodity plummets worldwide. The production is set to meet local demands and not essentially to sell it to international markets.

According to the minister of state for petroleum resources and group managing director of national petroleum corporation Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the nation will continue to produce oil to meet the demands of the Nigerians. The minister indicated that Nigeria is backing other nations such as Russia and Saudi Arabia in freezing oil production to give Iraq and Iran a way to regain their lost market shares because of war and sanctions in the two nations. The minister further said that the production to freeze as a result of negotiations with the concerned nations and bilateral talks between Nigeria and the two nations.

Kachikwu indicated that Nigeria’s oil production will be 2.2 million barrels per day this month, this is unchanged from January. Nigeria will continue to seek ways of increasing production because the local consumption is currently high and the nation will strive to meet the customer demands in the country. Currently Nigeria is not even exporting the quantity that OPEC requested them to supply. The demand from local refineries per day is a half a million barrels of crude oil. This is a quarter of the daily production, however the demand will meet the supply once the oil is in reserves.

By June, this year Nigeria expects to come back and tighten the market through export of its crude oil at prevailing market prices. Venezuela, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar last week indicated that the production levels in January would be kept at bay so long as others followed suit. The production of oil in Iran slumped since there were sanctions to the nation, the Iraqi is rebuilding after many years of war, and the nations saw it a good sign to help the two Middle East nations to recover. There would be further meeting to deliberate on the matter as OPEC seeks to bring market to a balance that will not affect the stability of crude oil prices across the globe.

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