Oil price rout gets Opec members cooperating, says Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachiwku

Lynsey Barber
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Opec is coming closer to agreeing a strategy (Source: Getty)

The world's biggest oil producers are cooperating more after the prolonged rout which has left oil prices languishing around the $30 per barrel mark.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) are closer to cooperating, indicated Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachiwku in an interview with Reuters.

"There's increased conversation going on. I think when we met in December ... they (OPEC members) were hardly talking to one another. Everyone was protecting their own positional logic. Now I think you have cross-logic ... they are looking at what are the deficiencies, what is the optimum."

Rumours last week that the group would cooperate on cutting production bumbed benchmark Brent crude higher, and comments by the UAE energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei helped oil prices rebound further by the end of the week.

The next Opec meting is scheduled to take place in June, however, there have been calls for earlier emergency meetings.

"We haven't been sure that if we held those [emergency] meetings that we could actually walk away with some consensus. "A lot of barrels are tumbling out of the market from non-OPEC members, so the Saudi philosophy is obviously working. But it's not influencing the price higher, which means that whether we like it or not some barrels are coming in from ... members and non-members to cover whatever is dropping out," said Kachiwku.

He said the oil producers are not at a point of saying there is a "definitive strategy" of reducing or cutting production, "but there is a lot of energy [behind the idea]".

"As you get closer to the statutory (OPEC) meeting dates ... you are going to see a lot more people get active in those conversations and try to find solutions," he said.

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