Russia says door not closed to output freeze deal despite Doha failure

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Novak said he had travelled to Doha expecting all sides to sign the deal instead of debating it (Source: Getty)

Russia has said its door isn't closed to an output freeze in the future, despite oil majors failure to clinch a widely anticipated deal in Doha today.

Russia's oil minister, Alexander Novak, said that the country wasn't closing the door on a global deal to freeze output, adding he was disappointed that no decision had been taken.

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.

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.

"Despite some conflicting signals from Riyadh over the past few days, it was never likely, in my view, that the Saudis would shift from what is - slowly - proving to be a winning policy as regards squeezing out high cost producers and protecting market share," Alastair Newton, a consultant at Alavan Business Advisory, said.

"No doubt markets will react appropriately. But I do not expect this to be the end of the "freeze" saga and ... volatility is likely to persist for some time to come."

Novak said he had travelled to Doha expecting all sides to sign the deal instead of debating it. He said the deal fell apart because Saudi Arabia had demanded Iran join in and that this was "unreasonable" since Iran was absent from the talks.

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

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