By Natalie Grover
LONDON (Reuters) – Nigeria is ramping up its production targets ahead of a pivotal OPEC+ meeting set to decide on matters including how much oil Africa’s biggest crude producer should aim to pump next year.
Nigeria was producing 1.7 million barrels per day of crude and condensates as of Nov. 17 and expects to hit 1.8 million bpd by the end of the year, Olufemi Soneye, chief corporate communications officer at its state oil firm NNPC, told Reuters.
The country intends to ramp up its crude and condensate output to about 2 million bpd by the end of the first quarter of 2024, he said, adding that the aim is to reach 2.5 million bpd in the next couple of years.
In a surprise move, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, on Wednesday delayed an upcoming ministerial meeting until Nov. 30.
They had been expected at the meeting to extend or deepen output cuts in 2024, with oil prices falling considerably in recent weeks over demand concerns and burgeoning supply.
According to OPEC+ sources, OPEC members Angola, Congo and Nigeria are struggling to agree on output levels and hence possible reductions ahead of the meeting originally set for Nov. 26.
In a June OPEC+ meeting, the trio of African producers were given lower targets after years of failing to meet the previous ones.
Nigeria saw its 2024 target reduced to 1.38 million bpd from 1.74 million previously, but it will be allowed a higher production target of 1.58 million bpd if three independent consultancies can confirm its capacity to produce at this level.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in London; Editing by David Goodman and Jan Harvey)