Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has said that the current fluctuations in oil prices pose no immediate threat to Nigeria’s economic recovery, even as oil prices on Wednesday inched up for the first time in more than a week on a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggesting that OPEC cuts could create a crude deficit in the first half of 2017.
Brent futures gained 89 cents, or 1.8 per cent to settle at $51.81 a barrel, their first increase in seven days. The global benchmark on Tuesday fell to its lowest level since November 30.
Kachikwu, said it would amount to being an alarmist to consider the gyrations in the oil market a threat to the Nigerian economy, adding that Nigeria still sells most of its crude oil blends well above $50 per barrel.
The minister also stated that member countries of OPEC were alert to the current price movements and the resurgence of shale oil production, explaining that they would react to the changes as required.
He explained that members of OPEC were already exploring opportunities to engage U.S. oil producers on efforts to stabilise prices, adding that he was optimistic the U.S. would soon join OPEC and non-OPEC members to sustain existing efforts on this.