Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has expressed confidence that the price of oil in the international market, which currently sells for about $30/barrel, will rebound to about $50 in the days ahead.
The minister made this known while speaking with CNBC’s Fast Money on Monday.
According to Kachikwu, who just returned to Nigeria with President Muhammadu Buhari after attending a meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, in Doha, Qatar, Nigeria will continue to push for production freeze consensus.
He was also hopeful that OPEC members would be able to come to an agreement to freeze oil production as a way to combat the low oil price, which came down to a seven-year low.
“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.
“Saudi Arabia and Russia are aligned on the issue of a freeze, so I think the chances are very high”, Kachikwu stated.
Stressing that movements towards a freeze represent a big step in the right direction, the Minister, who also doubles as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, told CNBC that he remained confident of his plan to work with OPEC members, adding that “the Saudi’s are quite frankly in the forefront of pushing the freeze issue”.
Mr. Kachikwu, who explained that a potential output freeze among OPEC members has made him bullish when it comes to oil prices in 2016, said that he expects crude prices to take a major leap by the end of the year.
“I am certainly hoping for prices in the range of $45 to $50. I’m hoping a consensus can be built and that parties can begin to work together across the board, not just OPEC members, but also non-OPEC members, which is what the Gulf States and most of us have pushed for. With that, you’ll begin to see movement upwards in those prices”, he stated.