‘Partial output freeze’ likely from Doha oil meeting

However Iran is believed unlikely to join any freeze



A Doha meeting of oil producers on Sunday is most likely to lead to a partial output freeze, supporting a limited rise in oil prices, according to analysts at Moscow’s Sberbank.

The Qatar meeting of influential OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia, is planned to finalise a February deal to freeze oil out put at January levels.

Iran is believed unlikely to join any freeze until its production returns to levels prior to nuclear related sanctions, which were lifted in January.

In a note to clients, Sberbank analysts said Iran’s continued resistance to a freeze will considered “by doubters as proof that lengthy pre-summit negoiations failed to get the message across”, according to Reuters.

They added that the deal could result in initial relief by would risk falling apart as countries faced reduced incentives to stick with it.

“However, we doubt [oil prices] will reach much higher and would consider taking profit at this level or a little above.”

Brent crude prices have rose above $44 per barrel today in anticipation of the meeting. Oil futures could reach $45 per barrel as the buildup continues, analysts at the bank said.

Earlier in the week, investment bank Goldman Sachs warned in a report that the Doha meeting would do little to boost prices and could cause them to fall.

It said the meeting will not accelerate the reduction in the oversupply on global crude markets and could deliver a “bearish catalyst” for prices.