Brent crude inched back towards $42 per barrel this afternoon, weighed down by a growing cloud of analyst scepticism over a weekend meeting of major oil producers.
They said the impact of a freeze deal on oil prices would be minimal because most countries are already producing at record levels, while Iran and Libya have vowed to ramp up their output.
Despite this, Saudi Arabia has refused to cut production to prop up the oil price amid fears its own market share will decrease.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 3.2 per cent to $42.5 per barrel this afternoon. West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, slipped 3.4 per cent to $40.1.
Michael Moran, managing director at global risk and strategic consulting firm Control Risks, said: "The freeze deal, should it happen, will have an immediate but temporary impact on oil prices."
"While Russia and Saudi Arabia can affect the oversupply by reducing production, their decision is likely to have more of a symbolic than real effect on global prices and oversupply is likely to persist for another year at least."