Pressure mounts on oil producers ahead of meeting in Doha on Sunday

 
Jessica Morris
Follow Jessica
Scenes Of Qatar 2014
Delegates will meet in Doha on Sunday (Source: Getty)

The stage has been set for what will be the first coordinated action among Opec and non-Opec producers in 15 years - and failure to deliver could spark ire among already harangued oil investors.

Talk of a potential freeze deal at the meeting in Doha on Sunday has helped oil prices recover from near 12-year lows earlier this year to over $40 per barrel today.

"There's a high expectation that delegates will be able to come out with a positive message, and most don't want to do anything that will undermine this," Richard Mallinson, geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects, told City A.M.

Read more: Opec faced with waning influence in the global oil markets

But there's a limit on just how much fun can had, with the various nations caught between a rock and a hard place.

"Increasing the price of oil benefits the Saudi bottom line, but at the expense of strengthening the competitor they’ve endured low prices for so long to weaken," Lauren McKee, visiting assistant professor at Berea College, said.

This has led to market speculation that the real purpose of Sunday's meeting is to stabilise prices around their current level. The IEA expects oil markets to start rebalancing in the second half of this year, as Opec's grand master plan to price out US shale gas producers starts to bear fruit.

Read more: Iran goes on production spree ahead of Opec meeting in Doha this weekend

But there's a cloud of analyst scepticism over a freeze deal's ability to stem the excess 1m barrels of oil which are pumped into the market everyday.

Recently sanction-free Iran has vowed to return its output to levels enjoyed before the imposition of a US and European Union embargo five years ago.

Similarly, analysts have said there's a chance Libya's new government, which has also refused to take part in a freeze deal, could shake off its various challenges to ramp up output.

Related articles