Oil prices: OPEC postpones emergency meeting

Oil Barrels used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: ThePointNG]
Oil Barrels used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: ThePointNG]

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has postponed its emergency meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss oil production output.

The meeting was moved to Thursday.

The delay is said to be as a result of a fresh disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia, with the two countries trading blames over the collapse of oil prices.

According to Bloomberg, the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in a statement on Saturday said comments by Russia’s President Putin laying blame on Riyadh for the end of the OPEC+ pact between the two countries in March were “fully devoid of truth.”

Since the news of the fresh rift that may widen between the two world largest oil exporters, oil prices have crashed. Brent Crude as at 10a.m. Monday sold at $33.01 per barrel, down by $1.1 or 3.22 per cent.

The meeting, which is expected to be via a video conference, was earlier called after President Donald Trump urged Saudi Arabia to convene the meeting that would allow members end the price wars and agree on production cuts to restore “balance” to the oil market.

Earlier in March, Saudi Arabia declared an oil price war after Moscow rejected plans to cut crude oil production by a combined volume of about 1.5 million barrels per day, to stop further reduction in international oil price.

Russia also followed suit as it flooded the market with more barrels per day.

Nigeria and other members of the group and other oil producers from outside the OPEC+ alliance are expected to be at the meeting.

READ ALSO: Again, OPEC approves 1.5 million barrels daily cut

In the past month, the global oil market has seen its worse state in years, as oil prices continued to go on a downward slope, leaving oil dependent countries like Nigeria badly hit.

Crude oil prices crashed below the budget benchmark price of $57 per barrel to less than $20, even as the impact of the coronavirus pose a grim prospect of looming recession.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the government will implement a 50 per cent cut in revenue from privatisation proceeds.

The government also announced a cut in crude oil benchmark price, down to $30, while crude oil production remains at 2.18m barrels per day as earlier contained in the budget estimates.

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