OPEC and non-OPEC producers are scheduled to meet in April to discuss a potential output freeze deal.

According to Reuters, Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada said a group of about 15 OPEC and non-OPEC producers will meet in Doha on April 17.

Sada said in a statement that the group currently scheduled to attend the meeting account for about 73 percent of global oil output.

A list of OPEC and non-OPEC producers expected to attend has not been disclosed yet.

Iranian plans to ramp up production now that Western crude sanctions have been lifted stymied previous efforts to reach an output freeze deal.

In January, officials from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela met in Doha to discuss an output freeze but that deal hinged on other non-OPEC and OPEC members, including Iran, signing on.

An OPEC source told Reuters that an exemption excluding Iran from the production freeze may now be on the table.

“It’s a setback but it will not necessarily change the positive atmosphere that has already started,” the OPEC source told the news wire.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters on Monday that an output deal could rebalance the oil market by late 2016.

OPEC production fell by 90,000 barrels per day in February to 32.34 million bpd last month despite higher volumes from Iran, according to Platts.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, maintained output at 10.2 million barrels per day.

Iran boosted output by 210,000 bpd to 3.12 million bpd in February but those extra barrels were offset by a sharp 200,000 bpd decline in Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer.

Last week, the International Energy Agency said global oil supplies eased by 180,000 barrels per day in February to 96.5 million barrels per day on lower OPEC and non-OPEC output.

However, production levels in February still stood at 1.8 million barrels per day above year ago levels, with the slight dip in non-OPEC production more than offsetting OPEC gains.

Preliminary data suggest that OECD inventories booked a draw in February for the first time in a year while volumes of crude held in floating storage increased.

“There are signs that prices might have bottomed out …For prices there may be light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel, but we cannot be precisely sure when in 2017 the oil market will achieve the much-desired balance,” the IEA said.


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