| ABU DHABI
ABU DHABI OPEC's deal to cut oil production will go ahead even if Russia becomes the only non-OPEC country to commit to reduce output at a meeting this week, Nigeria said on Wednesday, while the UAE voiced optimism that other producers would participate.
OPEC agreed last week to slash output by around 1.2 million barrels per day beginning in January in an effort to reduce global oversupply and prop up oil prices. It hopes non-OPEC countries will contribute a further 600,000 bpd of cuts. Russia has said it will reduce output by around 300,000 bpd.
"Yes, we will go ahead, but we will continue to work on the rest to come onboard," Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said when asked whether OPEC was ready to go ahead with the production agreement even if only Russia committed to cut.
"We did clearly say we would like to see non-OPEC participate, but we did not say we would not go ahead when they don't," Kachikwu told reporters on the sidelines of a Bloomberg Markets summit in Abu Dhabi.
Nigeria, which is exempt from output cuts under the deal because of militant attacks on its oil infrastructure, hopes to boost production to 2.1 million bpd next month, the minister said.
Fourteen non-OPEC countries including Russia have been invited to meet with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on Saturday to cement the pact.
The United Arab Emirates' energy minister said he was optimistic that non-OPEC producers would pledge cuts.
"I think it's reasonable what we set for them. It's half of what OPEC committed to," Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui told reporters.
Mazroui said the oil market needs prices that provide an incentive to invest in production. Investment was declining even at $50 a barrel, he said.
"We have tested $40 and $50 prices and it hasn't worked," he said, adding that six months could be enough to correct the market to reasonable levels.
"We will see in six months what will be the requirement and take the right measures."
Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino told Russia's TASS news agency in Caracas that the oil market would rebalance within six to nine months and that OPEC aimed for moderate prices within a range of $60-70 a barrel.
(Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens)