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OIL AND GAS
Nigeria ready to play OPEC ball, Russia says
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Sep 22, 2017


Nigeria, Turkey to meet over illegal arms shipments
Lagos (AFP) Sept 22, 2017 - A top Nigerian official was scheduled to meet the Turkish ambassador Friday after hundreds of rifles allegedly from Turkey made it to the west African country this week falsely labelled as plumbing materials.

It was the fourth time this year Nigerian customs officers had intercepted illegal arms shipments from Turkey at the nation's ports, a customs official said.

According to the Nigeria Customs Service, a total of 2,671 action pump rifles allegedly imported from Turkey have been seized in Lagos since January.

"The government is worried about the incessant importation of arms from Turkey. This year alone, four shipments have come from that country," customs spokesman Joseph Attah told AFP.

"Colonel Hameed Ali, the comptroller-general, will be meeting with the Turkish Ambassador in Abuja today (Friday) to address the issue."

Attah said 470 rifles, which had been falsely declared as elbow joints for plumbing, were intercepted at the port on Tuesday.

That shipment was uncovered barely a week after a 20-foot container-load of 1,100 pump-action rifles was impounded at the same port.

"We have found out that the people bringing in these weapons are Nigerians. They have syndicates in Turkey who are manifesting these weapons," Attah said.

A local oil firm involved in the shipments is under investigation.

"We are yet to get to the bottom of the whole issue. We will investigate to know if these weapons are meant for commercial purposes or group of insurgents or agitators," said Attah.

The Turkish embassy was not immediately available for comments.

Nigeria is facing a string of security challenges, from Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency in the northeast to militants targeting oil and gas facilities in the south.

In between, there is growing conflict between largely nomadic herders and farmers. There has also been unrest linked to separatist sentiment in the southeast.

Nigeria may be ready to give up its status as an OPEC member exempt from the effort to balance the market with production cuts, Russia's oil minister said.

Members of a committee monitoring an agreement to cut the equivalent of about 2 percent of world's oil demand out of the market met Friday in Vienna to discuss the impact. The measure is aimed at draining global stockpiles closer to a five-year average.

Most OPEC members are in full compliance with the agreement, though exemptions for OPEC members Libya and Nigeria have complicated the effort. Both countries were sidelined from the effort so they could steer oil revenue toward national security efforts.

Speaking from Vienna, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak hinted that Nigeria could give up its exempt status once its production stabilizes.

"Nigeria is ready to reduce production at the level of 1.8 million barrels per day and join the agreement once it reaches the target," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying.

Russia is a party to the multilateral effort and is the largest contributor among non-OPEC member states.

Secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists said Nigeria production in August was 1.86 million barrels per day, its highest level of the year. First quarter production for Nigeria averaged 1.5 million barrels per day and Nigeria last topped 1.8 million barrels per day in 2015.

OPEC economists said the Nigerian economy is gaining momentum. Its economy during the second quarter grew 0.6 percent from last year, after registering a contraction in the first quarter.

On the national security front, Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari told the U.N. General Assembly this week that security was still an issue. In addressing the body, he called for a collective effort to prevent groups like the Islamic State for gaining a regional foothold. Regional resources, he said, are insufficient and the "response capacity is weak."

Total OPEC production, based on August figures from secondary sources, is about 0.3 percent higher than the average for 2016 and 3 percent higher in 2015

OIL AND GAS
Nigeria, Turkey to meet over illegal arms shipments
Lagos (AFP) Sept 22, 2017
A top Nigerian official was scheduled to meet the Turkish ambassador Friday after hundreds of rifles allegedly from Turkey made it to the west African country this week falsely labelled as plumbing materials. It was the fourth time this year Nigerian customs officers had intercepted illegal arms shipments from Turkey at the nation's ports, a customs official said. According to the Nigeri ... read more

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