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OPEC’s 2018 oil output peaks in July

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• Serene N’Delta raises hope of 40b barrels reserves target
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) oil output rose last month to a 2018 high as Gulf members pumped more after a deal to ease supply curbs and Congo Republic joined the group, a Reuters survey has found, although losses from Iran and Libya limited the increase.

The cartel had pumped 32.64 million barrels per day in the period under review, up by 70,000 bpd from June’s revised level and the highest this year.

OPEC and allies agreed last month to boost supply as United States President Donald Trump, urged producers to offset losses caused by new sanctions against Iran as well as to dampen prices, which this year, hit $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

On June 22 and 23, 2018, the oil cartel, Russia and other non-members agreed to return to a 100 per cent compliance with output cuts that began in January 2017 after months of under-production in Venezuela and elsewhere pushed adherence above 160 per cent.

However, Nigeria is to hit its target of record 40 billion barrels of oil reserves on the back of the improved security situation in the Niger Delta, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) NNPC has said.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Maikanti Baru, who expressed the optimism while receiving a management team from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) yesterday in Abuja, had earlier hinted that the agency was targetting to increase the country’s crude oil reserves by one billion barrels yearly to attain the 40 billion figure by 2020.

While the Federal Government and the management of the NNPC have been commended for the prevailing peace in the oil-rich region that had rubbed off positively on operations of international oil companies, Baru, however, submitted that his organisation was poised to making the operating environment safer and conducive for more investors to come in.

He noted that the increase in production achieved by Agip would boost the nation’s chances of achieving all production and reserve targets.

NAOC’s Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Eni, Antonio Vella, said the current climate would see his company double its investments in the country, adding that the development has increased investors’ confidence in the nation’s petroleum industry.

“The steps the GMD has taken have greatly improved security in our area of operations. That is very important to us, as it has given us confidence to come back strongly and raise oil and gas production. And that is what we are doing. We are increasing our budget in Nigeria because we have confidence in Dr. Baru and the entire system,” he stated.

Vella disclosed that his company was redoubling efforts on the ongoing expansion of the Okpai Independent Power Project and the Zabazaba facility to ensure early completion.

According to him, the Okpai IPP project would be completed by the second quarter of next year and its capacity will have been increased by over 50 per cent.


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