International

The world remains awash with oil supplies, a situation that has been fuelled by OPEC's refusal to curb crude output
Oil prices have plummeted more than 60 percent since mid-2014 partly because of oversupply

OPEC members and key oil producers from outside the cartel will meet on April 17 in Doha in a bid to stabilize falling crude prices, Qatari energy minister Mohammed al-Sada said Wednesday.

The meeting is a "follow-up" to last month's talks between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela when they proposed an accord to freeze oil output at January levels, said a statement from Sada, the current OPEC president. 

He said 15 countries, accounting for some 73 percent of global oil output "are supporting the initiative," including the world's top exporter Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said this week that the meeting will "probably" be held in April.

Oil prices, which have plummeted more than 60 percent since mid-2014 partly because of oversupply, have recently recovered slightly following talk of an output freeze.   

But Novak's comments put pressure on oil prices on Monday after he indicated Iran could be excluded from a freeze deal to allow it to increase its crude production after Western sanctions over its nuclear programme.   

One of the world's biggest producers, Iran, returned to the export market in January.

Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday as investors bought back into the black gold after a two-day sell-off. At around 0600 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April was up 1.62 percent, or 59 cents, to $36.93. 

Brent for May was up 1.21 percent, or 47 cents, at $39.21.

(AFP)

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