May 26, 2018

What’s happening in Doha?

What’s happening in Doha?

Nations representing almost 60 percent of the world’s oil production will gather in Doha on April 17 to discuss freezing their output at January levels in an effort to stabilize prices. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela made a preliminary deal in February and are seeking to add more producers and extend the recent price recovery.

Who’s going?

In addition to the four signatories to the preliminary deal, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman and the United Arab Emirates will attend.

Who’s not attending?

Some of the world’s biggest producers including the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Norway won’t be showing up. Among the 13 nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, only Libya — whose output is crippled by conflict — has ruled out going to Doha. The key OPEC member resisting a production freeze is Iran. While it will send a representative to observe the discussions in Doha, Iran has insisted it won’t constrain production before restoring output to pre-sanctions levels.

How likely is an agreement?

Forty traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week were evenly split on whether there will be a deal. While Russia’s Energy Ministry is “optimistic” and Qatar’s has a “positive feeling,” Saudi Arabia has said it will only cap its output if Iran follows suit — a notion Tehran has dismissed as “ridiculous.”

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