Nigeria expects oil output freeze deal at Doha meeting in April even without Iran

Jessica Morris
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Opec member Nigeria has said it expects oil producers to reach an output freeze deal at a meeting in Doha next month.

"I expect that we will reach a conclusion on stabilisation, stabilise current production as of January," Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told Reuters in an interview in Abuja.

Qatar has invited Opec and major non-Opec producers to a meeting on 17 April to discuss a freeze.

It's not yet clear whether all 13 Opec members, including rebel Iran, will attend. However, Iranian officials have indicated they won't participate until the country's oil output has returned to pre-sanction levels.

Kachikwu expects Iran's refusal to join to have a limited impact because its unlikely to significantly boost production in the near future.

"We are likely to see Iran not signing on. But we have all decided that if they don't we will proceed because we do not believe that currently their entry into the market will create too much of a threat for the next year," he said.

It comes after an initial deal in February between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and non-OPEC member Russia to hold supply at January levels.

Oil prices have added around 50 per cent since falling to multi-year lows in January, partially helped by talk of a possible production freeze deal.

Nevertheless, analysts have questioned whether an output freeze deal will be able to ease the oversupply of oil.

Earlier today, a senior member from the International Energy Agency said that it was perhaps meaningless because only Saudi Arabia has the ability to ramp up its production.

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