12th January, 2016
Nigeria’s oil minister said on Tuesday that a “couple” of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had requested an emergency meeting, adding that current market conditions support the need to hold such a gathering.
Benchmark Brent crude oil futures were trading at less than $31 per barrel on Tuesday, their lowest level since April 2004, and have shed almost three-quarters of their value since mid-2014.
Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi that there was a lot of push from various blocs within OPEC for the need of a meeting.
“A couple of countries, I don’t want to mention names,” he said when asked if any had requested holding an emergency meeting.
Any meeting that would take place would be to review OPEC’s position to see if there was any need to change its strategy, Kachikwu said, adding that the meeting could take place in February or March.
Much will depend on the attitude of OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which has resisted calls for a cut in production to help boost prices.
“Saudi Arabia has never held the position that it does not want to talk,” Kachikwu said. “In fact, it was very supportive of a meeting before June, at the time when we held the December meeting, if (there was a) consensus call for it.”