Russia, Saudis tentatively offer to freeze oil output levels

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Russia's energy ministry said on Tuesday that his country has agreed with OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela to freeze oil production levels if other producers do the same.

See Full Article

The ministry quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak announcing the decision following an unexpected, closed-door meeting involving the four countries in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The meeting reflects growing concern among major oil producers about the effects a prolonged slump in crude prices will have on their domestic economies.

Novak said the countries are willing to freeze output levels at January levels "if other oil producers join the initiative."

Getting other major oil suppliers to go along with that plan could be tricky. Prices have fallen sharply since summer 2014, leaving producers scrambling to win market share from competitors.

Oil prices rose following the meeting, with a barrel of benchmark New York crude trading up 77 cents at $30.21. A barrel of Brent, the international standard, gained 89 cents to $34.28.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said producers would continue to assess the state of the market in the months ahead. He described freezing output at January levels was an adequate step for now.

All of the countries at the meeting except Russia are part of OPEC, which has refused to cut its official production targets in an effort to bolster faltering prices. Saudi Arabia dominates policy-making within the 13-member bloc of oil producing countries.

The aim of OPEC's keep-pumping strategy has been to attempt to ride out the 12-year lows in prices and force higher-cost producers, such as shale drillers in the U.S., out of the market.

Notably absent from Tuesday's meeting was Iran, which shares control of a major underwater natural gas field with Qatar. It is eager to ramp up its exports now that sanctions related to its nuclear program have been lifted, saying recently it aims to put another 500,000 barrels a day on the market.

Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist at Capital Economics, said Tuesday's agreement should help support prices. But he noted that only some OPEC members have signed on to the deal, and that compliance to the bloc's own quotas has long been a challenge for the group.

"And even if output is frozen, this will still be at extremely high levels," he added. "Saudi oil production remains close to record highs" of more than 10 million barrels a day.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Etihad to lend U.S.-bound passengers iPads as ban workaround

    Economic CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- One Mideast airline affected by the ban on most electronics in the cabins of U.S.-bound flights will lend iPads to its top-paying travellers. Etihad Airways said on Wednesday that it will offer the tablets to U.S. Source
  • Bombardier senior execs earned nearly 50 per cent more in 2016

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Bombardier's senior executives saw their compensation rise by nearly 50 per cent last year at a time when it laid off thousands of workers, sought government aid and saw the first CSeries passenger jet take flight. Source
  • Fact check: U.S. President Trump didn't get luxury-model Air Force One

    Economic CTV News
    KIRKLAND, Wash. -- A widely shared story that claims to include photos of a recently delivered plane that will serve as Air Force One for U.S. President Donald Trump is false. The pictures included in the story do not show the presidential plane and are conceptual renderings from an outfitter of luxury aircraft. Source
  • Manulife picks head of its Asia division as president

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A relative newcomer to the senior ranks of Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) has been picked to be the insurer's president, responsible for its global operations including Canada. Roy Gori, who joined the Canadian life insurance and wealth management company in early 2015, has been responsible for Manulife's Asia division. Source
  • Toshiba says Westinghouse files for bankruptcy protection

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japan's embattled Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking a key step in its struggles to stop the flow of massive red ink. Source
  • Ford recalls 440,000 vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Economic CBC News
    The Ford Fusion V6 Sport is seen in this promotional image. (Ford) Ford is recalling more than 440,000 vehicles in North America including more than 20,000 in Canada to fix problems that can cause engine fires and doors to open unexpectedly. Source
  • Ford recalls 440K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Ford is recalling more than 440,000 vehicles in North America to fix problems that can cause engine fires and doors to open unexpectedly. The first recall covers over 230,000 Escape SUVs, Fiesta ST subcompacts, Fusion midsize cars and Transit Connect vans with 1.6-litre turbocharged engines from 2013 through 2015. Source
  • Ford recalls more than 570K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Ford is recalling more than 570,000 vehicles in North America and Europe to fix separate problems that can cause engine fires and doors to fly open unexpectedly. The recalls will hit the company's bottom line in the first quarter of this year. Source
  • Ford recalls 570K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Ford is recalling more than 570,000 vehicles in North America and Europe to fix separate problems that can cause engine fires and doors to fly open unexpectedly. The recalls will hit the company's bottom line in the first quarter of this year. Source
  • Canopy Growth to launch online marijuana store in April

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's biggest publicly traded marijuana company is readying a new online store to hawk its wares, in a move that hints at how legal marijuana sales might soon look. Canopy Growth Corp., which owns the Tweed, Mettrum, and Bedrocan brands of medical marijuana, will launch the Tweed Main Street store in the first half of April. Source