Libya, Nigeria exempted from OPEC deeper oil output cuts policy

FILE PHOTO: The OPEC logo is seen outside the group’s headquarters in Vienna. [Photo: Reuters]
Limiting oil output from Nigeria and Libya won’t be on the agenda when OPEC and other producers meet on Monday, with both African nations saying they’ll need to keep pumping at a higher level before they can join a global effort to stem a supply glut, according to two people familiar with the planned talks, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

Nigeria is ready to cap or even reduce supply if it can maintain output of 1.8 million barrels a day, said the two people, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Libya isn’t planning to join any agreement to curb output until it reaches its target of 1.25 million barrels a day by December, they said. Producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia are gathering in St. Petersburg, Russia, to assess the effectiveness of an international accord to pare output, Bloomberg added.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih met with delegations from Libya and Nigeria over the weekend to discuss their production recovery plans, “including the challenges they currently face,” the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Sunday in a statement on its website.

Both African OPEC members were exempt from the cuts agreement, which took effect in January, because of their struggles to restore production amid internal strife. Their increased output in recent months has prompted speculation that OPEC may seek to limit their production to help stabilize oil markets. Brent crude has declined 15 percent this year on concerns that rising output from Nigeria and Libya, as well as the U.S., is offsetting the cuts that OPEC and allied producers including Russia extended through March, Bloomberg indicated.

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