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At least 15 oil-producing nations representing about 73 percent of world output are expected at today’s Doha meeting to approve a freeze on oil production. The gathering follows a surprise Doha meeting in February between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in which they pledged to cap their crude output to January levels if other producers do the same, AP reported.
While markets may well react off any decision made today in Doha, analysts predict low prices will continue through this year and into the next as producers keep pumping to keep their government budgets afloat.
“We put the probability of a successful freeze agreement ... at 50 percent,” Societe Generale analyst Michael Wittner wrote this month.
The countries hope the cap will help global oil prices rebound from their dramatic fall since summer 2014, when prices stood at above $100 a barrel, though no one is talking seriously about the more dramatic step of reducing global supply by collectively cutting production for now.
Prices dropped briefly under $30 a barrel, a 12-year low, in January, but have climbed to around $40 a barrel this week, boosted in part by market speculation about the coming meeting.