Nigeria’s State Minister for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has expressed his conviction that the days ahead will see a barrel of crude oil selling for $50, as he continues to relentlessly push for production freeze consensus.
Speaking with CNBC’s Fast Money, the Minister seemed unperturbed by the recent disagreements among the OPEC members, but was optimistic that OPEC members would be able to come to an agreement to freeze crude oil production as a way to combat the low oil price.
“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, 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.”
The Minister, who explained that a potential output freeze among OPEC members has made him bullish when it comes to crude oil prices in 2016, said that he expects crude prices to take a major jump 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.”
Speculation over OPEC’s intentions about a freeze or cut in production has however so far failed to result in higher crude prices.
Saudi Arabia’s oil Minister, Ali al-Naimi, has voiced strong resistance about a production cut, but has given his country’s support to a freeze. The country is now one of those pushing for a production freeze among both OPEC and non-OPEC members.