Russia, Saudi Arabia agree to freeze oil output to stabilize the market

Russia, Saudi Arabia agree to freeze oil output to stabilize the market

PanARMENIAN.Net - The world's top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday, February 16 to freeze oil output at January levels in a bid to stabilize an oversupplied market, Qatar's energy minister said, according to AFP.

But they made their agreement conditional on the approval of other major producers.

The Saudi and Russian oil ministers, along with their Venezuelan and Qatari counterparts, "agreed to freeze the production at (the) January level provided that other major producers follow suit," Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said.

"This step is meant to stabilize the market," said Sada, who is acting president of the OPEC oil cartel, describing the meeting in Doha as "successful."

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said: "This is the beginning of a process which we will assess in the next few months and decide whether we need other steps to stabilize and approve the market.

"We don't want significant gyrations in prices. We don't want a reduction in supply. We want to meet demand and we want a stable oil price," he said.

Market response was muted, apparently because traders expected a production cut rather than a freeze, especially after output has hit record levels.

Oil crept higher, with Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April advancing 50 cents to $33.89 per barrel in late morning deals.

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