OPEC appoints Nigeria’s oil minister as special convoy

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has been appointed by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JJMC) of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to undertake a mission as Special Envoy to Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and South Sudan.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the OPEC secretariat, which explained that the decision, taken at the 26th meeting of the JMMC, was in line with the principles of fairness, transparency and equity that underpin the “Declaration of Cooperation”, (DoC).

The purpose of this mission is to hold consultations with the respective leaders of these countries on the DoC market rebalancing efforts.

In particular, the Special Envoy will discuss matters pertaining to conformity levels with the voluntary production adjustments and explore how the four nations can collectively support and assist each other in achieving full conformity with their supply adjustments.

As part of his duty, the Minister will also discuss with relevant authorities the compensation mechanism in accommodating underperformed volumes as agreed at the June ministerial meetings and later amended in September 2020.

Furthermore, this mission will solidify the dialogue channels among the countries, and enhance transparency and information exchange. Given the geographic proximity of these countries, it is a rare opportunity for Ministers and leaders to safely meet in person, following months of virtual conferencing.

Speaking on this, the chair of the committee, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, and co-chair, Mr Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, commended the positive efforts of all countries participating in the DoC for the monumental strides taken toward attaining full conformity with their voluntary adjustments in output.

The countries have been proactive and pre-emptive in measures taken to mitigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the oil market.

While progress has been achieved in introducing a greater degree of stability in the oil market since the historic decisions taken in April 2020, participating countries had said the will not rest on their laurels. They noted that a sustainable oil market stability necessitates a continual renewal of effort, engagement and responsiveness to factors affecting the market.

Nigeria is the largest producing country in Africa and a key member of the DoC. In 2021, Nigeria will mark the 50th anniversary of its membership of OPEC which it joined in 1971.

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