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Nigeria to put off deciding whether to join OPEC cuts, minister says

Reuters  |  ABUJA 

By Paul Carsten

ABUJA (Reuters) - supports OPEC's efforts to stabilize prices, but it wants to wait before deciding whether join the cartel's cuts in production, its minister said on Wednesday.

"Hopefully, in the next two to three months we can see how predictable the production return has been and then can say we feel stabilized and need to make the corresponding cuts," Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters.

and Libya, whose output has been hit by political turmoil and attacks, are exempt from an the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreement, which is an effort to reduce a glut of on world markets.

Nigeria's benchmark level to join the cuts is production of 1.8 million barrels of crude a day. Its current output is around 1.7 million barrels a day, excluding condensates, Kachikwu said.

Nigeria's output had improved in recent months, after the government managed to end militant attacks on pipelines in the Niger Delta by opening peace talks with leaders in the restive hub.

Kachikwu also said he would not attend a meeting between and non-nations on July 24 in Russia, because he would be hosting a meeting of African producers in Abuja on the same day.

"We (OPEC) are fairly in consensus on our position on cuts," he said, adding that hoped prices would stabilize later this month.

Under the supply deal, is curbing output by about 1.2 million barrels a day. Russia and other non-producers are cutting half as much, until March 2018.

said on Wednesday its production jumped in June and forecast world demand for its crude would decline next year as rivals pump more, pointing to a market surplus in 2018 despite the OPEC-led output cut.

Giving its first forecasts for 2018 in a monthly report, said the world will need 32.20 million barrels per day of crude from its members next year, a fall of 60,000 barrels a day from this year.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Larry King)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)