Oil prices fall after Doha talks fail
Oil prices fell today after a meeting between major producing nations failed to agree an output freeze, leaving the world grappling with an excess of unwanted crude.
The meeting in Qatar was attended by most members of oil producers’ group Opec, including Saudi Arabia, but not Iran.
But the deal crumbled when OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite its repeated assertions it would not do so until it had reached pre-sanctions levels of output.
But Iran is continuing to increase output following the lifting of sanctions against it.
“As we’re not going to sign anything, and as we’re not part of the decision to freeze output, we ultimately decided it was not necessary to send a representative,” the Iranian government said.
After hours of talks in Qatar, the country’s energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said that the oil producers needed “more time”.
He said after the meeting: “We of course respect Iran’s position… The freeze could be more effective definitely if major producers, be it from Opec members like Iran and others, as well as non-Opec members, are included in the freeze.”
Brent crude futures fell almost 7% in early trading today before recovering to $41.80 per barrel by mid-morning, down just over 3% since their last settlement.
Traders said an oil worker strike in Kuwait that cut the country’s crude output by some 60% prevented Brent from tumbling below $40 a barrel.