Kuwait welcomes deal to freeze oil output

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at an oil field owned by Bashneft company near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, in this January 28, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait on Tuesday welcomed a deal by four oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze crude production in a bid to boost sagging prices.

“The state of Kuwait welcomes the Doha agreement... and affirms its compliance to freeze production at January level which is conditional to the commitment of major producers from Opec and non-Opec members,” acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh said in a statement.

He said Kuwait’s commitment to the deal comes in support of efforts to stabilise the market.

He hoped the deal will help to support oil prices and restore market balance.

Kuwait is Opec’s fourth largest producer, and is pumping 3.0 million barrels per day.

Opec members Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar and non-Opec Russia agreed Tuesday to freeze crude production at January levels provided that other producers agree. (See Saudi Arabia, Russia agree on oil output freeze

The move is an attempt to stop additional supplies in a bid to shore up oil prices which have dived more than 70% since mid-2014.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said the move was designed to stabilise the market following the dramatic price fall since mid-2014.

Further talks involving Iran and Iraq are due in Tehran on Wednesday.

Oil gave up early gains Tuesday to trade lower as the deal was seen as too weak to turn the market around.

In the late European afternoon, Brent North Sea crude was 78 cents down at US$32.61, its session low, having gradually slipped from its US$35.55 high seen just before the announcement.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was down 51 cents from Monday’s closing level at US$28.93. - AFP

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