Nigeria confident Opec will up quota

Nigerian Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said today she expects Nigeria's Opec quota to be increased when the oil producer group next meets in December.


Nigeria pumped around 2.1 mn bpd in August. Its current implied quota is 1.67 mn bpd.

Opec's total output target, excluding Iraq is pegged at 24.84mn bpd.

"I would hope that we would get specific improvements in terms of our quota," Alison-Madueke, said to reporters at a Houston energy conference.

"I would imagine it will be looked at within the context of oil production throughout the Opec member countries."

Justifying the call to increase Nigeria's quota, she said production has increased with the decline of attacks on oil infrastructure in the Nigerian Delta.

"I'm sure we'll be able to work out the issue of a quota with them."

The Oil minister said that a programme offering amnesty for militants in the delta, which Nigeria started last year has resulted in a falling rate in attacks. It is expected that the nation's natural gas industry will expand with the passage of a new oil bill later this year.

"Over the next two years or so, Nigeria will make the transition to a gas-producing country as opposed to a crude producing country, since we have a lot more gas reserves than we have crude".

Nigeria is the seventh largest country in terms of natural gas reserves and if unproven reserves were counted, would be in the top three worldwide. Nigeria has 188 trillion cu ft in natural gas reserves and 37.2 bn barrels in proven crude oil reserves.

Alison-Madueke expects the Nigerian National Assembly will pass the new petroleum industry bill within two months.

"I'm hoping much sooner than that," she added.

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