Nigeria wants Iran to delay its plans to pump more crude oil

Lagos (Platts)--2 Dec 2015 954 am EST/1454 GMT

Nigeria will ask OPEC to prevail upon fellow member Iran to delay its plans for a post-sanctions increase in oil exports in order to ease the oil price slump that is negatively affecting the revenues of producing countries, junior oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Wednesday.

"There is a lot of sensitivity [to] the $42/barrel oil price currently, that it has the potential to go down if Iran throws the estimated 1.5 million b/d of crude into the market by next year," Kachikwu told reporters in Lagos ahead of his departure for OPEC's December 4 meeting in Vienna, at which the oil producer group will set output policy for the year ahead.

"I will be meeting one-on-one with other OPEC ministers to try and see how we can at least get to delay Iran flooding the market with 1.5 million b/d. I will be talking with Iran's oil minister on that so that we can stabilize the price," Kachikwu said.

Nigeria, like other oil producing companies, has seen its finances badly hit by the decline in oil prices.

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Iran has been subject to tightened sanctions that have resulted in its oil exports dropping to just 1 million b/d from previous levels of 2.2-2.3 million b/d.

Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has said Iran will boost its crude exports by 1 million b/d within six months of lifting of the lifting sanctions, which, according to some Iranian officials, could be as early as January 2016.

Earlier Wednesday, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said he had written the latest in a series of letters to OPEC urging members to comply with the official 30 million b/d ceiling and to take Iran's production and export plans into account when setting policy on crude output.

He has said several times that Iran will proceed with its plans to boost production and exports regardless of whether oil prices fall further.

Brent crude is currently trading below $44/barrel, having fallen from levels as high as $115/b in mid-June last year.

--Staff report,

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