Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nigeria Oil Minister:Won't Disrupt Stability Of Market

VIENNA -(Dow Jones)- Nigeria "will not do anything to disrupt the stability of world markets," the country's oil minister said Thursday at the conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Diezani Alison-Madueke's comments suggest Nigeria won't seek a higher quota despite previous statements that the country wanted a bigger share of OPEC production.

She also said that both the coming marginal oil licensing rounds and a new energy bill would happen before the end of the year.

"The marginal oil licensing rounds will happen, yes, before the end of the year," she said. "The petroleum industry bill, which has the gas masterplan entrenched within it...will happen well before the end of the year."

The bill is expected to bring major changes to Nigeria's energy sector, including a shift towards natural gas from oil production.

Her comments on market stability came in response to expectations that Nigeria might request OPEC raise the level of its output quota, which now stands at 1.9 million barrels a day.

"Nigeria will work within the holistic parameters of the OPEC considerations," she said. "The market is very stable at the moment, it has been for some time, and we will do nothing to disrupt that stability."

She also said she was "very hopeful" that market stability would continue long into 2011.

She said Nigeria and other OPEC members were very comfortable with current market conditions, adding weight to the view that OPEC would roll over its current output target.

Alison-Madueke said in September that she would seek a higher production level for her country, where a phase of recent attacks on crude oil facilities has abated, allowing more output.

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