Nigeria would back an extension of OPC’s production cut deal to the end of 2018 “as long as the right terms are on the table” relative to Abuja’s planned economic recovery, Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said, according to a report by Reuters.
“There isn’t any reason to change what is a winning formula,” Kachikwu said. “There is a consensus to extend. The issue will be the duration.”
So far, the bloc and 10 other producers have agreed to extend the agreement through next March. Russia is cutting 300,000 barrels per day in coordination with OPEC’s 1.2 million bpd in cuts.
At the end of the month, the bloc will meet at its headquarters in Vienna to make a final decision on the future of the deal. Nigeria had been granted an exemption from the quotas due to 2016 being a particularly devastating year for the country’s oil infrastructure.
Just as Nigeria has started to pump more than 1.8 million bpd of crude oil for two consecutive months, the Niger Delta Avengers—the militant group responsible for most of last year’s attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure—returned to the scene with a gruesome message on its website, warning oil companies of a “brutish, brutal and bloody” end to the ceasefire in the oil-rich Delta.
Message to the oil companies: Our next line of operation will not be like the 2016 campaign which we operated successfully without any casualties; this outing will be brutish, brutal and bloody, as we are shall crush everything we meet on our path to completely put off the fires that burn to flair gas in our communities and cut every pipe that moves crude away from our region. We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers,” the militant group said in a message on its website posted on Friday.
In related news, a new study showed that oil spills in Nigeria may have claimed the lives of thousands of babies born to mothers who live in areas contaminated by such incidents.
According to the study, published by the CESifo group, given that there were almost 5.3 million live births in Nigeria in 2012 and that around 8.05% of these births took place within 10 kilometers of an oil spill, the authors estimated that oil spills could have killed around 16,000 infants within their first month of life in 2012.