Despite Bombing Nigeria’s Oil Output Rises To 1.6MBPD

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Nigeria’s crude oil production has climbed to 1.6 million barrels per day (mbpd), following repairs on some of the oil and gas installations damaged by militant groups in the Niger Delta, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed yesterday.
According to reports from Reuters and Bloomberg, Kachikwu said in Vienna, Austria, where oil ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) unanimously appointed the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, as the cartel’s Secretary-General, that the country’s production had rebounded to this level after it fell to about 1.4mbpd in May due to a string of militant attacks and an accident on the ExxonMobil Qua Iboe export platform.
He also said despite continued attacks by militants in the restive Niger Delta, Nigeria was still on target to produce 2.3mbpd in 2016.
His disclosure also followed reports that OPEC, which appointed Barkindo, has again failed to agree on production cuts or freeze to shore up crude oil prices in the international market as disagreements between two Middle East rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, resurfaced.
Barkindo by his appointment becomes the second Nigerian, after former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Rilwanu Lukman, to serve as the oil cartel’s secretary-general.
Kachikwu, in a tweet from his tweeter handle, confirmed Barkindo’s appointment. He also congratulated him on the feat.
“Congratulations to Dr. Barkindo Sanusi Barkindo on your appointment as OPEC Secretary General,” Kachikwu tweeted.
Kachikwu was credited with playing a huge role in Barkindo’s emergence as the cartel’s secretary-general, as the minister was said to have worked hard behind the scenes at convincing OPEC’s influential members to allow a Nigerian to oversee the administration of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna.
Similarly, Indonesia’s Energy Minister Sudirman Said disclosed in Vienna that Barkindo’s appointment was by consensus.
Barkindo will succeed outgoing Abdalla El-Badri who had been on the job for nine years. Barkindo was also the acting head of OPEC in 2006.
Seventy-six-year-old Libyan El-Badri was originally due to step down in 2012 after serving the maximum two terms but members were unable to agree on a replacement and his tenure was extended at successive meetings.
Barkindo beat rival nominees that included Indonesia’s Mahendra Siregar. He attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. He is also the Wali of Adamawa.
He spent more than 23 years at NNPC where he served in various capacities including Deputy Managing Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and head of the international trading unit. He also served for 15 years as Nigeria’s representative to OPEC.
Meanwhile, OPEC yesterday failed to agree on a crude oil output policy, even though Saudi Arabia promised not to flood the oil market with extra oil, while Iran insisted on the right to raise its production steeply.
Reuters reported that tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shi’ite Islamic Iran had been the highlights of several previous OPEC meetings, including in December 2015 when the group failed to agree on a formal output target for the first time in years.