Saudis, Russia agree oil output freeze at Jan level: Qatari minister

DOHA: The Russian and Saudi oil ministers met Tuesday in Doha to discuss the global supply glut that has sent prices plunging, a Qatari official said.

The oil ministers of Venezuela and Qatar also attended the talks, the official said.

News of the meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Ali al-Naimi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak pushed up oil prices on world markets, with European benchmark Brent crude rising above $34 a barrel.

Oil prices have tumbled about 70 percent since June 2014, hit by oversupply, sluggish demand and worries about the global economic outlook.

They have also been pressured by the return of Iran to world markets after the lifting of international sanctions linked to its nuclear programme.

The 13-nation OPEC oil cartel, of which Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar and Iran are members, has refrained from cutting output as it looks to maintain market share in the face of competition from US shale oil producers.

At around 0600 GMT on Tuesday, Brent crude for April delivery was trading $1.30, or 3.89 percent, higher at $34.69 a barrel.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was up $1.30, or 4.42 percent, at $30.74.

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