Russian energy minister Alexander Novak. Image courtesy of the Kremlin.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices gave back gains on Tuesday as the likelihood that a production freeze agreement will be signed continue to fade.

Saudi Arabia energy minister Khalid Al-Falih and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak met during the G-20 summit in China.

The two countries signed a joint statement on Monday that calls for Russia and Saudi Arabia to work together to support the “stability” of the global crude market, the BBC said.

While the energy ministers agreed that a production freeze would be the most effective way to support prices they failed to implement any specific short-term measures.

Al-Falih said during a joint press conference that he believes markets are “trending in the right direction” and do not require a production cap, according to Bloomberg.

News of the meeting sent crude prices up on Monday but prices retreated when the ministers failed to offer concrete price support measures.

Brent crude fell from a five-day high of $49.40 per barrel early Monday morning to $44.60 just after the opening bell on Tuesday.

WTI prices fell back below the $45 per barrel mark and sank to about $44.11 per barrel on Tuesday morning, down about $3 per barrel from week-ago levels.

OPEC members will host an informal meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming International Energy Forum to discuss a potential production deal.

The forum will take place in Algeria from September 26 to September 28.

Two previous attempts to reach a production freeze agreement this year were scuttled after Saudi Arabia and Iran declined to participate.

Low oil prices sunk OPEC export revenues to a 12-year low in 2015.

According to a report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration last month, OPEC net export revenues fell 46 percent year-over-year to about $404 billion last year.

OPEC’s next official meeting is scheduled for November 30 in Vienna.


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