Russia reveals more details about potential freeze deal

Jessica Morris
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Russia will lead non-Opec producers in Doha (Source: Getty)

Russia has revealed more details about a potential freeze deal between Opec and non-Opec producers that could come out of a meeting in Doha.

Sources told Reuters that Russia believes an oil price at $45-$50 per barrel is acceptable to allow the global oil market to balance. It also expects a production freeze deal to accelerate this process by around half a year.

They added that the discussion includes how long output will be held steady for, and ways to monitor the agreement which is set to cover production, not exports.

Read more: With Brent crude prices at a four-year low, is Opec’s power over the oil market waning?

A Russian energy ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the information provided by the sources was correct.

Oil producers are meeting in Doha on 17 April to firm up a provisional agreement to freeze output between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela and Russia, if others follow.

There's concern Opec rebel Iran's refusal to participate could derail the deal. While Saudi Arabia has said it will need the recently sanction-free country to co-operate, Kuwait expects a deal will go ahead anyway.

Read more: Oil prices fall after Opec freeze deal is thrown into doubt

Iran, whose oil output was curtailed for years by sanctions that were lifted earlier this year, has vowed to return output pre-sanction levels before signing up to a freeze.

The sources who discussed Moscow's position also said they believed Iran would struggle to quickly reach the levels it has announced. They said Iranian growth is now coming mostly from selling oil from storage and putting easy-to-launch fields on stream.

"A freeze without Iran is being discussed. At the moment we don't see tough conditions (from others) for Iran to join," one of them added.

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