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Stability, price stays most important for OPEC: Nigerian oil minister

By Rudaw 22/6/2018
Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu answers a question for Rudaw on the sidelines of the OPEC conference in Vienna, Austria, on June 22, 2018.
Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu answers a question for Rudaw on the sidelines of the OPEC conference in Vienna, Austria, on June 22, 2018.
VIENNA, Austria — Market stability and consumer confidence was at the forefront of OPEC discussions on Friday, amid the group announcing that they will target overall output increases of 1.2 million barrels per day.

"We expect to have some reaction, initial reactions at this moment are positive. We want to address stability and price stays," Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum told Rudaw on the sidelines of the meetings in Vienna.

Brent Crude prices rose to just under $80 per barrel in late-May, but were trading around $74.50 on Friday.

"But frankly, even if it goes down a dollar or two dollars and the consumers feel happy because of that I think OPEC feels that that's within our sensitivity cove — we're still fine," added Kachikwu.

Analysts have speculated that OPEC members want to hold the price around the $80 mark.

"I never discuss optimal price. That's a death game. I bring a product to the market, I watch for the fundamentals, I see what I receive, I make a decision," said Kachikwu.

UAE Oil Minister Suhail al-Mazroui presided over the mid-year gathering. He acknowledged that some individual member countries will not be able to meet the increase.

"We agreed to target the group... that's why we are targeting the 1.2 [million bpd]," said Mazroui at a press conference. "I don't think OPEC can force any country to do anything involuntarily."


He was asked if Iran and Iraq will be on the monitoring committee.

"No [changes]. Not until the end of the year," he said.

Because some countries are unable to increase outputs, observers see the real increase at being around 600,000 bpd.

Ahead of the conference, non-OPEC members like the United States and Russia have pressured OPEC to increase supply.

"We listened to the reports from all the contributors in the market," said Mazroui. "We are not just using one metric."

Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada echoed the sentiment that market balance was everyone's goal.

“We are optimistic that we will choose a scenario from the scenarios presented in the meeting and agree on it today or tomorrow because everyone's goal is the balance of market," he told Rudaw.

Updated at 6:25 p.m.

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