Qatar invited Iran to talks on oil output freeze

Qatar said on Tuesday that it has invited Iran to join talks among the world’s top oil producers next month on implementing a proposed output freeze to stabilise plummeting prices, Worldbulletin reported.

The Qatari energy ministry said all 13 OPEC members including Iran had been invited to the April 17 talks in Doha with key non-cartel producers including Russia.

Next month’s meeting in Doha is a follow-up to talks last month between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in which they first mooted the output freeze.

“The aim of the meeting is to reach agreement among producers on freezing their crude output at January levels in order to reduce the excess supplies on world markets in everyone’s interest,” the Qatari ministry said.

Oil prices, which have plummeted more than 60 percent since mid-2014 partly because of oversupply, have recovered slightly since the freeze was first mooted.

According to OPEC’s latest monthly report, Iran pumped out 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in February, up from 2.9 million in January. It pumped 4.0 million bpd before sanctions were imposed over its controversial nuclear programme.

Overall production by the cartel fell by 175,000 bpd in February to an average of 32.28 million bpd, largely because of the steep drop in Iraqi output and smaller falls in Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, the report said.

Source: National News Agency