OPEC, non-OPEC producers to meet in April to discuss production
"This comes as a follow-up to the meeting that was held last month in Doha between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela at which they proposed an accord to freeze oil output at January 2016 levels and called on other producers to do so," the minister, Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, said in a statement, Reuters reports.
The statement said that to date, around 15 OPEC and non-OPEC producers, accounting for about 73 percent of global oil output, are supporting this initiative.
On Monday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said after talks in Tehran that a deal could be signed in April and exclude Iran, which has the right to boost output after years of sanctions.
Kuwait, for example, has been arguing that all major producers need to be part of the output freeze.
While an exemption for Iran is not ideal, it is not a deal-breaker, OPEC sources said.
"It's a setback but it will not necessarily change the positive atmosphere that has already started," said one OPEC source from a major producer, referring to Iran saying it will not join any freeze accord.
"There are still talks about a possible meeting between main producers," the source said. ■