OPEC Plans Increase In Oil Production …Considers Two Scenarios At Summit …As FIRS Posts N1.5trn In Q1, 2019

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Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies are set to debate at least two scenarios that would increase oil production beyond current levels, according to sources.
If the group ultimately chooses to increase production, there’s a hitch: The cartel’s internal simulations suggest the global crude market could experience a glut if producers relax their current curbs on production too quickly.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of key OPEC producers and Russia-led allies are set to hold a consultative meeting yesterday as rising tensions in the Middle East add to output outages in the region. No decision will be made at the summit.
Those gathered will merely debate the issues and make recommendations to be acted on at OPEC’s next full meeting in Vienna in June.
OPEC and its partners agreed in December to output cuts of 1.2 million barrels a day.
The curbs have led to a rebound in oil prices CLN19, -0.08% this year, but the agreement ends in June.
The officials gathering this weekend are looking for a way forward—for the second half of this year—that won’t upset oil markets.
One scenario, presented to delegates late Friday, assumes OPEC and non-OPEC countries are fully complying with their commitments through May and June, the people said.
Since some countries are currently cutting more than agreed, if all the countries reverted to the December agreed levels, their collective output would be the equivalent of an increase of 396,000 barrels a day for participating members of the cartel and 411,000 barrels a day for the Russia-led non-members from April levels, based on OPEC data.
Another scenario would allow individual producers to use as their baseline for cuts the maximum level they reached in one of the last four months of 2018—before they started a new round of cuts of 1.2 million barrels a day—throughout the second half, the people said.
The scenario of strict compliance to the December agreement would lead to a decline in inventories in the second half but the other simulation would lead to a new increase above the five-year average by the fourth quarter, the people said.
Meanwhile, The Federal Inland Revenue Service ((FIRS) generated N1.5 trillion revenue in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, according to its Chairman, Mr Babatunde Fowler.
Fowler disclosed this to newsmen in New York at the weekend.
He said the amount included revenue from non-oil taxes that were 11 per cent higher than what the agency realised from that sector in Q1 of 2018.
“In the first quarter (of 2019), what I will say is that in the non-oil sector, we generated 11 per cent higher than what we generated in 2018.
“Basically, we have generated about N1.5 trillion,” Fowler told newsmen on the sidelines of a high-level meeting on illicit financial flows hosted by the United Nations General Assembly.
The 2019 amount is N330 billion or 28 per cent higher than the N1.17 trillion reported by FIRS in the same period of 2018.
Our correspondent reports that the Q1 figure also represents 18.7 per cent of the agency’s total revenue target of N8 trillion for 2019.
Fowler said the target, described by economy watchers as quite ambitious, was realistic with the cooperation of tax payers, among other factors.
He said, “It is quite realistic as long as we have the cooperation of tax payers in addition to deployment of technology.
“We have already started the enforcement of over 50,000 accounts that have banking turnover of 100 billion and above that have not filed their returns.”
The FIRS boss also spoke of plans by the agency to surpass the over N1 trillion it realised from Valued Added Tax (VAT) in 2018.
“We will get more people into the tax net and deploy more technology.
“We have what we call Auto VAT Collect, and that basically assists tax payers at the point of transaction, and the VAT portion is sent straight into the federation account.
“So, we know that there is more room for growth in the VAT sector,” he explained.
The N8.83 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for spending by the Federal Government in 2019 was based on a revenue target of N6.97 trillion.
The expected income consisted of oil revenue estimated at N3.73 trillion and non-oil oil projected at N1.39 trillion.
To actualise this, the Federal Government in a January launched a ”Strategic Revenue Growth Plan” to be implemented by FIRS and other revenue generating agencies.
Fowler said all hands were on deck to actualise the plan, adding that that everything “seems to be on course”.