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Nigeria, Libya Urged to Join Oil Output Cuts, Says Russia’s Oil Chief

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak is urging Nigeria and Libya to join an agreement brokered by OPEC, Russia, and other nations to cut oil output as soon as the two countries’ output stabilizes.

The Russian official made the comments on Monday, July 23 during an interview with The Financial Times ahead of a meeting by OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers in St. Petersburg on July 24. The St. Petersburg’s meeting focuses on the need to discuss the effects on pricing as production rises in Nigeria and Libya.

Sources say Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and several other major oil producers outside OPEC joined Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and other oil cartel members in a November 2015 agreement to cut global production in an effort to boost lagging oil prices.

Despite this calculations, the cartel’s effort has had little or no success, especially as production ramps up in Nigeria and Libya, along with rising shale output in the United States, which is not part of the OPEC’s agreement.

“I think that these countries (Nigeria and Libya) should join other responsible oil producers and contribute to the market stabilization initiative as they reach a stable level of output,” Novak told The Financial Times.

“We believe that once oil output in Libya and Nigeria stabilizes, there will be less uncertainty on the market as to their future moves,” maintained Novak, who added that the issue would be on the agenda of the July 24 meeting.

The oil-producing countries’ agreement, which seeks to cut total output by 1.8 million barrels a day, had initially helped increased oil prices.


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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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