Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Russia, Saudi Arabia Agree Oil-Output Freeze

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world's two largest crude producers, have agreed to freeze output, as long as others follow suit.

Freezing output at January levels will be "adequate," Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on February 16 after talks with Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in Qatar's capital, Doha.

Naimi said Qatar and Venezuela also agreed to participate in the freeze, and expressed hope that other oil producers would adopt the proposal.

Iran has pledged to raise supply steeply as it looks to regain market share lost after years of international sanctions, which were lifted in January.

A glut in global oil production has caused oil prices to plunge more than 70 percent since June 2014 to below $34 a barrel, putting financial strain on Russia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and other oil-dependent economies.
 [Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Bloomberg]

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