Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Wednesday that his country and other OPEC members are considering options to its production-cut agreement, including an extension beyond March and a deeper output cut.
As an Opec committee meeting wrapped up, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the cartel and allied producers can wait until at least January to consider prolonging the output limits.
Members of the OPEC+ agreement on crude production cap note lower volatility on the oil market, he said, adding that oil prices are 30% higher versus the first half of a year ago.
The statement quoted Kachikwu, who was at the Vienna meeting, as saying that though Nigeria hit 1.8 million barrels production per day in August, it was not enough justification for call by some countries for Nigeria "to be brought into the fold".
Acknowledging the gains so far made, Al-Falih cautioned against complacency, and emphasized the need for under-performing participating countries to raise their levels of compliance to 100 per cent in order to further boost cooperation towards the rebalancing of the market. "We've actually joined [the OPEC agreement]".
In recent months, front month Brent futures have risen sharply more than forward prices. The deal is set to end in March of next year.
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USA crude inventories rose for a third straight week, by 4.6 million barrels in the week ending September 15, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
The Indian basket, comprising 73 per cent sour-grade Dubai and Oman crudes, and the balance in sweet-grade Brent, has breached $55-mark and closed trade on Thursday at $55.51 for a barrel of 159 litres, which was higher than the previous day's close at $54.93. Nigeria, which is now exempt from making cuts, reiterated that it would accept a cap once output stabilizes around 1.8 million barrels a day.
He however, admitted that the country was making considerable progress since October a year ago.
Asked when Nigeria was willing to join the supply limiting deal, the minister said the country already had, in effect. When the country achieves consistent production of 1.8 million barrels a day "we will basically place a cap on ourselves", he said.
Opec secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said at the opening session of the meeting that all factors in the oil market pointed to headwinds ahead for shale oil producers.
Caps for both Libya and Nigeria will be discussed at Friday's meeting, Russia's Novak told reporters in Vienna on Thursday. But two Opec sources said the ministers were not likely to make a specific recommendation for an extension.