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Oil prices slide as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela agree on output freeze

The price of Brent crude has fallen below $34 per barrel after Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak held talks with OPEC member-states in Qatar's Doha.

The Russian minister held talks with oil and energy ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela. According to Novak, the countries are ready to freeze oil production at the level of January if other oil-producing countries join this initiative.

"After the meeting four countries - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela - are willing to freeze oil production at the level of January, if other manufacturers join the initiative," the Russian Energy Ministry reported his words.

The talks in Doha resulted in an agreement to freeze oil production at the level of January 11, Bloomberg news agency reported Tuesday with reference to the Qatari Oil Ministry.

According to Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, low oil prices weren't positive for the whole world. Qatar will also be monitoring the agreement on oil production freeze.

Al Arabiya News Channel has reported that Qatar confirmed an agreement has been reached on freezing oil production between the emirate, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

"Qatar confirmed (reaching) an agreement with Russia and Saudi Arabia on "freezing oil production at January level," Al Arabiya said.

Meanwhile, according to a representative of Qatari Oil Ministry, "approval of the agreement by other oil producers is its term."

Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi noted Riyad hopes that all oil-producing countries are going to agree to freeze the oil production at the level of January 11

Six OPEC states ready for emergency meeting with non-OPEC members

Venezuela's Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino in early February said that representatives of 6 member-states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were ready to participate in an emergency meeting on coordinated reduction of oil production with non-OPEC members. According to the minister, such OPEC member-states as Iraq, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, Iran and Venezuela as well as non-OPEC members Oman and Russia had given their consent.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak earlier confirmed Russia's readiness to take part in consultations with OPEC member states and oil producing countries outside the world oil cartel, if such talks were held.

The Russian energy minister said such consultations could discuss oil output cuts by each of these oil producing countries by up to 5%.

Iran suggests holding consultations on oil market situation with Russia, Iraq, Venezuela

Tehran earlier proposed to hold consultations on the situation on the energy market together with Russia, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela.

"Our proposals is that countries that produce oil - Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Iraq - hold more consultations on the situation on the energy market," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's top adviser on international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, told a roundtable at the Russian Strategic Research Institute.

Velayati, who also heads the Center for Strategic Research, is visiting Moscow on the invitation of Russian Strategic Research Institute's director Leonid Reshetnikov.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 16Feb16]

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