OPEC to meet other major producers April 17 for key meeting

Oil rally driven by words, not production cuts

The world’s top oil producers are finally meeting to talk about their problems.

A meeting between members of OPEC and other major oil producers will take place on April 17 in Doha, a Gulf source told CNNMoney on Wednesday.

The number of countries attending has not been determined yet, the source said.

Crude prices have advanced in recent weeks on expectations that major producers will freeze production in an effort to drain excess supply from the market and boost prices.

Related: Oil prices ‘may have bottomed out’

Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze output at January levels last month. But the deal had many conditions. Most importantly, the two said they’d expect other big oil producers to join in.

But that did not happen. Iran called the agreement “a joke,” and pledged to boost production now that nuclear sanctions have lifted.

Tehran said again this weekend it wouldn’t participate in any production freeze agreement until it is pumping 4 million barrels per day.

After a meeting in Tehran Tuesday with his Iranian counterpart, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he shared the view that Iran is in a “special situation” after years of sanctions, according to Reuters.

Both the IEA and OPEC said in the last week that 600-700,000 barrels of non-OPEC production will leave the market in 2016 due to the price collapse. A freeze, sources suggest, will assist in rebalancing the market by the end of the year.

Related: What oil freeze? Saudi Arabia and Russia pump more

The latest oil market data reveal that both Russia and Saudi Arabia ramped up their oil production in February, despite talk about supply caps.

Analysts say the global market is still massively oversupplied, and predicts the oil glut will persist throughout 2016. OPEC forecasts global demand to grow to 94.23 million barrels a day in 2016 from 92.98 million in 2015.

— Ivana Kottasova contributed reporting.

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