The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu says the price of oil is expected to be about $60 per barrel in a year’s time. He also believed that the country could boost its oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day from next month.
Kachikwu made this assertion while speaking at a Bloomberg Markets summit in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
“I am hoping that we are heading towards $60 per barrel and I don’t see higher than that,” said Kachikwu when asked about the expected oil price, one year down the line in December next year.
The Minister also admitted that the price range of $60 per barrel would be beneficial for both consumers and oil producers.
Speaking on the oil production of Nigeria, he said they moved from all-time production low of 1.4 million barrels per day early this year to about 1.6 million barrels per day currently. He expects the country’s output to touch 2.1 million barrels per day in January.
“You are not likely to see additional soft impact of our production on the market. The market should be stable,” he said.
Nigeria along with Libya were exempted from last week’s Opec deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day as their output was hit due to militant attacks on pipelines.
On efforts being made by the country to prevent attacks on pipelines, Kachikwu said the country is negotiating with militants so that the matter can be resolved to increase oil production.
“We are still engaging [with militants] in back channels and we need to bring those engagements to the front channels now with proper representation. The government is considering all options both in terms of firming up security in the corridors of production and also engaging the militants.”
Renewed militancy and destruction of oil installation in the Niger Delta has further cast a shadow over the government’s targets of 2.1 million barrels per day.
“The engagements are continuing by stabilising production and in early 2017, we will be lot more aggressive in specific engagements with militants.” The Minister added.