As crude oil prices continue to plunge, oil exporters have again failed to reach a crucial decision to freeze oil production following a summit which ended on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
OPEC members and Russia met in Qatar for another round of talks on the decision to freeze oil production but the deadlock has not been broken. Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran meant that Iran boycotted the meeting.
Saudi Arabia had had earlier agreed to freeze production only on the condition that Iran and other oil exporters would do the same. Iran had economic sanctions lifted earlier this year has indicated it has no intention to freeze oil production.
The Iranian government said in a statement; “As we’re not going to sign anything, and as we’re not part of the decision to freeze output, we ultimately decided it was not necessary to send a representative,”
Most oil exporters have seen their economies flounder with the plunge in oil prices. Venezuela and Nigeria have implemented strict foreign exchange policies as inflation in both countries continue to surge.
Even wealthy Saudi Arabia is feeling the heat as all exporters know that only a rise in the price of crude oil can help stem their economic woes. Qatar’s energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada disclosed that Sunday’s meeting did not succeed in getting oil exporters on the same page.
“The general conclusion was that we need more time to consult among ourselves in Opec and non-Opec producers,” Mr Sada said.
Another meeting is scheduled for June where oil exporters will again hope to sign a deal freezing oil production to pre January levels.