Major oil exporters meet in Doha this weekend to discuss a possible production freeze. But even if a deal is struck, analysts offer little hope it will reduce a glut that's pushed crude prices down by 70 per cent since 2014. Kirsty Basset reports.
The world is awash in oil - and the countries that produce it are feeling the pain. They don't want the price to go down any further, but they also don't want to lose their market share. Cue this weekend's meeting in Doha, where top producers led by Russia and Saudi Arabia will meet - to try and hammer out a deal to address the supply glut. But will they succeed, when Saudi Arabia has said it won't agree to a freeze without Iran, and Iran has said it's not going to slow down its production. (SOUNDBITE)(English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST JASPER LAWLER SAYING: "The language that's come out recently from the oil ministers in Russia and Saudi Arabia especially seemed to be hinting at a deal but a non-binding deal, a bit of a loose deal if you like, so no real hard quotas involved." The ballooning global over-production of oil has seen crude prices fall by as much as 70 per cent since 2014. But even if oil producers do agree to freeze output, rather than cut production, it might not have much impact. (SOUNDBITE)(English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT'S DIRECTOR OF OIL MARKETS AND DOWNSTREAM, SPENCER WELCH, SAYING: "What the oil market needs fundamentally is supply and demand to come back into balance, and freezing at a high production rate is not going to speed that process up in any way." And that balance continues to be elusive - with global output currently churning out around 2 million barrels of excess oil a day.