Iraq joins Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, others to freeze crude production


Succour may be closer to Nigeria front step in its quest to reap good fortunes from the oil industry, as Iraq, yesterday agreed to join Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and others to freeze crude production, which inturn would likely increase crude price at the International market.

This is coming after the Minister of States, Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had expressed doubt over possible agreement from Iraq to cut production in the expected Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC’s meeting slated for next month. It will be recalled that dead end met plans to freeze output at its last OPEC meeting with Russia, as Saudi Arabia refused to concede freeze without Iran coming on board. For Nigeria, this may impact positively on its fortunes amidst the downturn of its economy, following incessant attacks on facilities which has dropped production drastically to a lower level. The result of this impact also affected the sponsoring of the country’s budget and other pending projects currently suffering setback due to lack of funds.

However, militant groups said they have ended attacks on the nation’s oil and gas industry that have reduced the OPEC member’s output by 700,000 barrels a day to 1.56 million bpd. Iraq’s position Vanguard, however, gathered that the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, said that it will support OPEC’s decision tofreeze oil production in order to prop up the downturn of crude price at the international. According to him, “We would freeze production at the OPEC meeting, provided Iraq will support the group’s agreement.”

Meanwhile, Iraq’s oil Minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, had earlier noted that the country plans to play a very active role with other OPEC members to support prices while at the same time expanding its own output, which now stands at about 4.6 million barrels per day. Crude price rise Meanwhile, oil futures rose yesterday, supported by production suspensions in the US Gulf due to an expected tropical storm and speculation that producers meeting in Algeria next month will act to prop up prices. Brent crude futures were trading at $49.73 per barrel at 0924 GMT, up 47 cents from the previous close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 45 cents at $47.43 a barrel.

Oil and gas operators in the US Gulf of Mexico have shut production equal to 168,334 barrels-per-day, bpd, of oil and 190 million cubic feet per day of natural gas as a precaution against a tropical storm, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said. on Monday. Oil prices have also been taking direction from speculation that a meeting next month in Algeria of major producers including members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could yield a deal on production levels to support prices. Moreover, Shell’s Chief, Energy Adviser, Wim Thomas, has said that the huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017.

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