All OPEC Members Except Iran, Libya Pledge to Attend Doha Talks

  • Iran, Libya together lost 1.8 million barrels a day of output
  • April 17 oil-exporter meeting turning into farce: Commerzbank

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The only OPEC members that haven’t pledged to attend talks in Doha next month aimed at freezing oil production levels are Iran and Libya: the two nations with the greatest capacity to restore halted output.

The other 11 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to meet in the Qatari capital on April 17, officials from the respective countries have said. The absence of Iran and Libya, which are determined to restore supplies shuttered by conflict and sanctions, means any accord is unlikely to be effective, according to Commerzbank AG.

The tentative accord between OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia with its traditional rival, Russia, to cap production has helped revive oil prices from the 12-year low reached last month. Still, analysts say that as the nations involved weren’t on track to increase output, any agreement to freeze will have little impact on the global surplus.

“The meeting is turning more and more into a farce,” analysts at Commerzbank led by Eugen Weinberg said in a report. “It is hardly surprising that Libya is not interested in the Doha meeting. Like Iran, it first wants to increase output and then talk about a freeze.”

While Saudi Arabia’s spare production capacity of about 2 million barrels a day is the largest within the organization, the kingdom holds much of this back to be used in case of market disruptions. In contrast, Libya and Iran -- which together have lost about 1.8 million barrels a day -- aim to restore this output as soon as possible.

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