OPEC powers agree to oil output freeze

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. (File photo: Reuters)

Top oil officials from Saudi Arabia, Russia and several key OPEC members agreed on Tuesday to freeze oil output productions after a meeting in Doha to tackle a devastating supply glut.

The talks in the Qatari capital Doha, which had been kept under wraps until recent days, involve powerful Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak, sources said, two figures who must reach an accord for any coordinated global action to hold any hope of success.

They were joined by Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, who has in recent weeks been visiting major oil producers to rally support for the idea of “freezing” production at current levels in an effort to halt a downward spiral in prices, sources have said.

Qatar, which holds the rotating presidency of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) this year, was also present as it played an important role in coordinating consultations among members and suggestions for extraordinary meetings of the group.

The meeting came after more than 18 months of declining oil prices, knocking prices below $30 a barrel for the first time in over a decade. The slump has been longer and deeper than anyone predicted, and the mood may be shifting among producers which until now have been determined to defend market share rather then prices.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48