Oil Tumbles After Output Freeze Talks Fail Over Saudi Demands

No Deal in Doha: What's Next for Crude?
  • No Doha deal as Saudi insists all OPEC members must join
  • Kuwait crude production cut 60% as workers strike over pay

Oil tumbled after output talks Sunday between the world’s biggest producers ended without an agreement, outweighing the supply impact of strikes that cut 60 percent of Kuwait’s output.

Futures fell as much as 6.8 percent in New York. The summit in the Qatari capital faltered after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations wouldn’t agree to a deal unless all OPEC members joined including Iran, which didn’t attend the meeting, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters afterward. Separately, an open-ended labor dispute cut production by Kuwait, OPEC’s fourth-largest member, to 1.1 million barrels a day, according to Saad Al-Azmi, deputy chief executive for finance and spokesman at Kuwait Oil Co.

Sixteen nations representing about half the world’s output gathered Sunday to seek a solution to the global supply glut that pushed prices to a 12-year low earlier this year. The plunge in Kuwait’s production “is just shocking,” Edward Bell, a commodities analyst at Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD PJSC, said Sunday by phone.

“There were expectations there was going to be a freeze agreement excluding Iran,” said Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA. “It’s bearish, no question, because the market was clearly pricing something in.”

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery lost as much as $2.75 to $37.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $37.93 at 6:07 a.m. Hong Kong time. The contract fell $1.14, or 2.8 percent, to $40.36 on Friday, the biggest decline in almost two weeks. Total volume traded was about 25 percent above the 100-day average.

Brent for June settlement dropped as much as $3, or 7 percent, to $40.10 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract lost 74 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $43.10 on Friday. The global benchmark was at a $1.19 premium to WTI for June.

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