Nigerian oil minister says OPEC able to agree on oil production freeze to combat low prices

ABU DHABI, 28th February 2016 (WAM) --- In spite of recent disagreements between the organizatoin's members, Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said that OPEC will be able to come together in an agreement to freeze oil production as a way to combat low oil prices "The Minister for energy in Qatar and the President of OPEC is leading that pact and there is a lot of conversation going on and there's a lot of consensus building on the issue of the freeze," Kachikwu said in an exclusive interview with US business news television channel CNBC.

"Saudi Arabia and Russia are aligned on the issue of a freeze, so I think the chances are very high," Kachikwu added.

Speculation over OPEC's intentions has been running at a fever pitch, and whipsawed the price of crude, accroding to the channel. To date, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, has voiced strong resistance when it comes to a production cut, but has indicated an openness to a freeze.

"Freeze is the beginning of a process, and that means if we can get all the major producers to agree not to add additional balance, then this high inventory we have now will probably decline in due time. It's going to take time," Naimi said at the annual IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston this past week.

"It is not like cutting production. That is not going to happen because not many countries are going to deliver even if they say they will cut production they will not deliver. So there is no sense in wasting our time seeking production cuts," he added.

On Friday, Brent crude closed above US$35, off nearly 10 percent year to date but well under multi-year lows under US$28.


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