Doha oil production freeze talks end with no agreement, investors watch for movement in the oil price

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Most of the world's big oil producers attended the meeting in Doha (Source: Getty)

Talks between oil cartel Opec and non-Opec countries in Doha to try and reach a deal on an oil production freeze have ended without agreement, potentially risking a renewed price rout.

Ministers have confirmed to reporters in the Qatar capital that more time and consultation is needed before a production freeze can be enacted.

Officials from Opec (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), Russia and other major oil producers were close to signing a deal which could have resulted in production being frozen at January levels for the next six months.

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

The failure of the negotiators to reach a deal means the oil price could fall back from the year-to-date highs it reached earlier this week.

The oil price closed on Friday at $42.85 for a barrel of international benchmark Brent crude and $40.40 for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark.

The oil price has recovered over 50 per cent from lows of $27 per barrel in January on expectations Opec and Russia would be able come to an agreement.

The price has also been sent higher in recent weeks by US production of expensive shale oil beginning to decline, according to numbers from the International Energy Agency.

The meeting kicked off around 12.30pm GMT today, following a change to the wording of the agreement, partly to reflect Saudi Arabia's position on Opec rebel Iran.

Read more: Heated Saudi, Iran tensions cast cloud over oil freeze deal in Doha

De facto Opec leader Saudi Arabia reportedly told participants it wanted all of the cartel's members to take part in an oil freeze deal.

Iran had snubbed the meeting, sending only a token representative to the talks rather than the expected full delegation.

The oil price has tumbled from highs of $114 dollars per barrel in mid 2014 due to Opec's refusal to cut its production.

Saudi Arabia has consistently said it would be willing to reduce output if other oil producers around the world did the same. Opec has lost market share in recent years due to technical advances in shale drilling meaning countries like the US and Russia are able to increase their oil production.

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