Four Oil Producers Agree to Freeze Output at Jan Levels

Brent crude futures pared gains Tuesday following news that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela would lead an effort to freeze output at January levels, dashing hopes of a cut in production.

The large producers met in Doha, Qatar, to discuss measures to tackle a supply glut that’s sent prices to 13-year-lows.

Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammad bin Saleh al-Sada, said the agreement would help stabilize the market. Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said the freeze was “adequate” for the market, adding the meeting was successful. He added he hoped producers inside and outside OPEC would adopt the proposal.

The producers will meet with Iran and Iraq on Wednesday and may find significant reticence on the part of Iran to hold output steady. After years of sanctions, Iran plans to ramp up production in a bid to regain market share.

Qatar is the current holder of the rotating OPEC presidency.

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Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.