Saudi Arabia, Russia agree to oil production freeze

15:25 | 17/02/2016 Cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to freeze oil output in a meeting in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Russia agree to oil production freeze

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi (C) attends the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum

Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian oil minister met with Alexander Novakin Doha, his Russian counterpart, and representatives from Venezuela and Qatar in Doha on Tuesday where they agreed a freeze in the oil production at January levels.

"Freezing now at the January level is adequate for the market," said Saudi Arabian Oil Minister, Ali al-Naimi. "We don't want significant gyrations in prices, we want to meet demand. We want a stable oil price."

The agreement fell short of cutting production to shore up oil prices.

The price of brent crude surged 6 per cent on Tuesday to trade at $35.22 a barrel in anticipation of an agreement. It slipped back from earlier gains after the announcement was made, reflecting disappointment that production would not be reduced. Many oil producers are already pumping at full capacity.

Oil has lost more than 70 per cent of its value in 18 months, wreaking havoc on the oil-dependent economies such as Saudi Arabia, which has been forced to make sweeping welfare cuts.

The kingdom insisted it wouldn’t curb production unless other producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to co-operate.

Venezuela has been hit hardest from low oil prices. It had lobbied exporters including Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia to arrange a meeting with OPEC to try and reach an agreement./.