By Adewale Sanyaolu

Nigeria’s oil revenue profile may take a positive outlook in the months ahead as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decides production levels for the month of February.

Ahead of yesterday’s virtual meeting, speculations were rife that OPEC may  announce plans to increase oil output by two million barrels per day.

With the move, stakeholders are optimistic that oil revenue for Nigeria in 2021 may witness significant rise as oil price hit $52.09 per barrel as at 4.50pm yesterday.

The move, which is to commence next month, according to the OPEC Secreatry General, Mohammad Barkindo, will, however, depend on market conditions for next month.

Barkindo, who  spoke at a meeting of experts of OPEC and allies, a group known as OPEC+, according to remarks published by OPEC, said the cartel would later on Monday (yesterday)  decide output policies for February.

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In December, OPEC+ decided to increase production by 0.5 million bpd from January as part of the two million bpd rise but some members have questioned the need for a further increase from February due to spreading coronavirus infections.

OPEC+ was forced to cut production by a record amount in 2020 as global lockdown measures against the virus hammered demand for fuels.

OPEC+ first cut output by 9.7 million bpd, then eased cuts to 7.7 million and ultimately to 7.2 million from January.

Barkindo said OPEC now expected global oil demand to rise to 95.9 million bpd in 2021, or by 5.9 million bpd from 2020, as the global economy is forecast to grow by 4.4 per cent.

Even though development of coronavirus vaccines has injected optimism into the global economy and oil markets, the rise in oil demand would still fail to bring consumption to pre-pandemic levels of around 100 million bpd.