OPEC to impose quota on Nigeria as Oil Producers mull cuts extension to rebalance market


…As US supporting development in Nigeria’s agric sector – USAID Director***

Oil producers are expected to unanimously extend a production cut accord later this month but its duration is being discussed, the UAE energy minister said on Monday.

“I think this group of committed and responsible producers came together… and I think they will continue to do what it takes to take us to the next level,” United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suheil al-Mazrouei told an international oil conference in Abu Dhabi.

He said 158 million barrels of surplus crude oil remain on the market and “we need to reduce that — which means there is a potential for extension”.

Mazrouei said there was near-unanimity among the 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers which agreed a year ago to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day.

He added that he had “not heard anyone” speak of allowing the extension to expire, although the duration of the new extension would be “subject to discussion”.

“I am hopeful that we will reach an agreement that will lead to more stabilisation in the market and more investments coming to the market,” he said.

As a result of the cuts, oil prices have rebounded to more than $64 a barrel from $40 a year ago, and huge stocks of crude built up over the past three years have reduced.

Mazrouei, whose government is OPEC’s fourth largest oil producer, said he was not happy with the sharp fluctuations in prices, saying they need to be more stable.

OPEC ministers are holding a crucial meeting in Vienna at the end of November to discuss extending the cuts deal as well as imposing the quota system on countries that have so far been exempted: Libya, Iran and Nigeria.

Cartel kingpin Saudi Arabia and the world’s top producer Russia have voiced support for a rollover to the deal, the duration of which remains up for debate.

In the meantime, the United States is supporting Nigeria to develop its agriculture sector into a more diversified, inclusive and dynamic driver of economic development, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has said.

Roseann Casey, the USAID/Nigeria Director of Economic Growth and Environment, said this in a statement signed by Jana T. Sweeny, the Development Outreach and Communications Specialist (DOC), and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lagos.

Casey said in pursuit of the objective, USAID/Nigeria recently hosted two-day workshops between Sept. 26 and Oct 11, in Lagos, Kano, and Abuja.

She explained that the results from the consultative workshops would inform a new food security country plan for Nigeria.

“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) convened a broad spectrum of agricultural stakeholders to develop a shared vision for development of the sector under the U.S. government’s new Global Food Security Strategy.

“The U.S. Global Food Security Act authorizes a comprehensive, strategic approach for U.S. foreign assistance to reduce global poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in 12 target countries, including Nigeria.

“In two-day workshops held in Lagos, Kano, and Abuja from September 26 to October 11, some 180 participants examined the past, present, and future of agricultural and nutrition developments in the country,’’ she said.

The USAID/Nigeria director said that the workshops identified common objectives, and developed action plans to develop agriculture in Nigeria under the new strategy.

She said that representatives came from academia, community-based organisations, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, value chain actors, agriculture and nutrition-related associations, government agencies, donor agencies, and media.

“With these workshops, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to helping to develop agriculture into a more diversified, inclusive and dynamic driver of economic development in Nigeria,” Casey said.

The participants, she said, discussed key issues including access to finance for farmers and other value chain actors, particularly women and youth.

The director added that discussions addressed the need to strengthen market systems and value chains and improve access to agricultural inputs and training for farmers.

Casey said that the participants also highlighted the importance of making healthy and nutritious food available and accessible, especially for lactating and pregnant mothers, and children.

Additional report from Punch