From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr Mohammed Barkindo, on Monday disclosed that member nations lost about N$1 trillion between 2015 and 2016 as a consequence of the plunge in crude oil prices.
He made the disclosure in his goodwill message at the opening of the 2021 edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.
According to him, no member nation of OPEC was insulated from foregone revenues due to a contraction in oil revenues during the cycle.
He noted that from 2014 to 2016, world oil supply growth outpaced demand, with world oil supply growing by 5.8 mb/d, while world oil demand increased by 4.3 mb/d. “By July 2016, OECD commercial stock overhang reached a record high of about 403 mb over the five-year average. The OPEC Reference Basket price fell by an extraordinary 80 per cent between June 2014 and January 2016. Some crude oil benchmarks fell below $10/b”, he explained.
On the 2020-21 recession that jolted the new Nigerian oil industry, Barkindo said it was caused by extraneous factors far beyond Nigeria’s borders. “The devastating spread of COVID-19 severely impacted global oil demand and, again, developing economies were exposed. As the world economy contracted by 3.5 per cent year-over-year in 2020, global oil demand declined by 9.5 mb/d. During the month of April 2020, oil demand dropped by a staggering 22 mb/d.
“And yet, President Buhari and his government bravely rose to both of these great challenges. Deploying exemplary managerial skills, acumen and extraordinary prudence by diverting resources to the most productive sectors of our economy, the government was able to revive growth. Nigeria speedily exited recession and returned to the path of growth.
“The government organised virus containment measures, campaigns to sensitise the population to the devastating impacts of the pandemic, and promptly provided much needed economic stimulus. This proactive response protected the economy from a more severe contraction. The government should be applauded for its quick and robust actions”, he noted.