Saudi Arabia is willing to sign up to an oil output freeze in April, even if Iran does not take part, according to a senior delegate from The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – a move that could potentially remove one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a deal amongst some of the biggest producers.
Many of the world’s largest oil exporters are set to meet in Doha on April 17 in order to discuss putting a cap on output. This follows a provisional agreement, which was reached between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela, to freeze oil production at January levels.
The Opec delegate said:
“There is agreement from many countries to go along with a freeze, why make it contingent on Iran.”
These comments are in direct contrast with statements made by Gulf officials late month, which implied that any deal was dependent on Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main Opec rival, taking part along with other big producer countries.
Iran tried to increase production and exports following the lift of sanctions against its oil market in January, and the country’s officials have up until this time shown no degree of willingness to back a deal that would force it to restrict its own oil output.
However, questions have been raised between Gulf delegates as to whether the country has the ability to increase output, suggesting that this is a reason why Saudi Arabia could comply to the deal, which will be good news for oil producers like Fuchs Petrolub, which produces Fuchs WSP 783-L, are willing to agree to the deal.