Oil price rises, Nigeria faces crude production decline

epaselect epa07645392 The crude oil tanker Front Altair on fire in the Gulf of Oman, 13 June 2019. According to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, the Front Altair is currently on fire in the Gulf of Oman after allegedly being attacked and in the early morning of 13 June between the UAE and Iran. EPA/STRINGER

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, rose slightly on Thursday on the back of improving trade relations between the United States and China as well as rising tensions in the Middle East.

Brent crude gained 30 cents to trade at $66.30 per barrel as of 5.40pm Nigeria’s time.

According to them, oil production is expected to decline in the coming months as the agreement on deeper production cuts kick in.

The FDC analysts, led by Mr Bismarck Rewane, said, “It is unclear whether Nigeria would be included in the deeper cuts. If this happens, and Nigeria is forced to comply, the country’s oil output levels may fall towards 1.7 million bpd.

“Nigeria is more sensitive to production than price. A lower oil output would affect the actualisation of budgeted revenue projections as oil revenue accounts for 31.35 per cent of the total revenue projected.”

The US military carried out air strikes against Iran-backed Katib Hezbollah militia group over the weekend. Angry at the air strikes, protesters stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, although they withdrew after the United States deployed extra troops.

Oil was also boosted by optimism that trade talks between the world’s two largest economies would support demand.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the US-China Phase 1 trade deal would be signed on January15 at the White House.

OPEC and its partners, including Russia, agreed to cut output by a further 500,000 bpd from January 1, on top of their previous cut of 1.2 million bpd.

The cuts come as Russia reported record high 2019 oil and gas condensate production of 11.25 million bpd, beating the previous record of 11.16 million bpd set a year earlier, Energy Ministry data showed.

A fall in the US crude inventories last week also supported prices. The US crude stocks fell 7.8 million barrels in the week ended December 27, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 3.2 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

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