Kachikwu now OPEC President

OPEC President- Kachukwu

NIGERIA’S Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has replaced Mrs. Diezani Alison-Mad­ueke as President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The development was sequel to the inability of the substantive Minister of Petroleum and Nigeria Presi­dent, Muhammadu Buhari, who was expected to be named as the head of the OPEC conference, to occupy the position.

But a recent update on the OPEC platform had named Kachikwu, the Group Managing Direc­tor of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as the new head of OPEC.

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, Kachikwu said his major priority for OPEC would be stabilising the crashing crude price.

“I think the key thing will be obviously crude oil price. There is a lot of sensitivity on that $42 per barrel currently and with potential to go down if Iran throws its barrels into the field.

“My first target as I meet with ministers one-on-one is to try to delay Iran’s flooding of the market to the last quarter of next year. I will be talking with Iran’s oil minister on that so that we can stabilise the price.

“Maybe, hopefully, by the first or second quarter of next year, we will begin to see how that statement can now embolden us to go and begin to address remov­ing the 1.5mbpd production that is lying in the market internationally.”

Recall that OPEC had elected Alison-Madueke as its first woman president at the 166th OPEC ordinary meeting in Vienna, Austria, on November 27, 2014, at the twilight of President Goodluck Jonathan’s admin­istration, an office she could not do much before the ouster of the government.

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