Ibe Kachikwu Appointed OPEC Chairman
The minister of state for petroleum and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC(, Ibe Kachikwu, has been appointed the new chairman of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
He is to replace former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke who chaired the position before his exit as a minister.
Speculations were that Nigeria’s minister of petroleum resources, President Muhammadu Buhari, would take the top seat at OPEC, but the body in a recent update named Kachikwu as the head of the OPEC conference.
Till his appointment to the NNPC, Kachikwu was the executive vice chairman/general counsel, ExxonMobil Companies, Nigeria, and oversight counsel, ExxonMobil Companies, Africa.
Speaking on his appointment, Kachikwu revealed his plans for OPEC, saying he would do his best to delay Iran’s intended oversupply of crude oil, to control pricing.
“I think the key thing will be obviously crude oil price. There is a lot of sensitivity on that, $42 currently and with potential to go down if Iran throws their barrels into the field,” he said on a visit to Lagos.
“My first target as I meet with ministers one-on-one is to try to delay Iran’s flooding of the market to the last quarter of next year. I will be talking with Iran’s oil minister on that so that we can stabilise the price.
“Maybe, hopefully, by the first or second quarter of next year, we will begin to see how that statement can now embolden us to go and begin to address removing the 1.5mbpd production that is lying in the market internationally.”
Kachikwu said his first summit at the helm on Friday “is going to be a trying meeting”. Alison-Madueke was named the first female president of OPEC in November 2014, when she was elected at the 166th ordinary meeting of the organisation.