Nigeria Says OPEC to Meet Non-Members in Russia on March 20

March 4, 2016

by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo

Key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries intend to meet with other producers in Russia on March 20 to renew talks on an agreement to cap oil output, Nigeria’s petroleum minister said.

There will be a “dramatic price movement” when the meeting takes place, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Kachikwu said at a conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Thursday. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela agreed on Feb. 16 in Doha that they would freeze production, if other producers followed suit, in an effort to tackle the global oversupply.

“Both the Saudis and the Russians, everybody is coming back to the table,” Kachikwu said, adding that producers generally seek a recovery in the crude price to $50 a barrel.

While Russia confirmed its readiness to take part in the talks, the time and date of the meeting is still being discussed, according to a statement on the website of the nation’s Energy Ministry.

Oil traded at an eight-week high Thursday of $35.32 a barrel in New York as the Doha accord fanned speculation that co-operation between OPEC and Russia could at least prevent the current supply glut from expanding. Still, analysts have said that freezing production will do little to reduce the surplus, especially as Iran -- which intends to increase exports following the end of international sanctions -- dismissed the proposal as “ridiculous.”

Kachikwu didn’t specify whether Iran would attend the planned talks. The nation’s return to global oil markets after sanctions were lifted hasn’t lived up to its promises as it faces continued financial and logistical restrictions.

Copyright 2016. Bloomberg