Saudi Arabia and Russia reached a preliminary agreement on Tuesday to hold production at current levels as major oil producers consider ways to alleviate a global oil glut.

According to Reuters, representatives from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar reached the deal after meeting in Doha to discuss possible solutions to low oil prices.

All four countries have agreed to hold output at January levels as part of the preliminary deal.

However, the deal hinges on other producers signing on, a condition that may be complicated by Iran’s push to boost crude exports.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino told reports that he expects further talks to be hosted with Iraqi and Iranian officials later this week.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he believes the production freeze would be an adequate measure to support prices and bring supply in line with demand, Reuters said.

“The reason we agreed to a potential freeze of production is simple: it is the beginning of a process which we will assess in the next few months and decide if we need other steps to stabilize and improve the market,” Naimi told reporters.

No timeline for implementing the production freeze has been disclosed yet.

Iranian representatives were not present for the Doha discussions and have not indicated that they will cooperate with any production freezes.

Iran is hoping to boost production after striking a deal with Western powers that rolled back crude sanctions that had limited exports to about 1 million barrels per day since 2012.

According to data provided by OPEC, Iran currently produces about 3.11 million barrels of crude per day.

Saudi Arabia saw production tick down by 50,000 bpd to 10.1 million bpd in December, marking the ninth consecutive month the oil rich kingdom has pumped over 10 million bpd, according to Platts.

Overall OPEC oil production fell by 130,000 bpd to 32.28 million bpd in December from 32.41 million bpd in November on lower production levels from Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Production figures for January have not been released yet.

The International Energy Agency said earlier this month that even if OPEC production remains flat it still expects an implied stock build of 2 million bpd in the first quarter of 2016 and a 1.5 million barrel per day build in the second quarter of 2016.


  1. Lots of diplomatic lingo here, preliminary, hinges on others signing on, adequate, etc. Day traders love this stuff. Price up nearly 11% already today. Fundamentals still exist. KSA still has the big valve and largest treasury. Others not so much and economically far worse off.

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