Major oil producers to talk output freeze in Qatar in April

AP , Wednesday 16 Mar 2016

This file photo taken on December 4, 2015 shows Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and President of the OPEC Conference Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (L) and OPEC's Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri of Liby (AFP)

Qatar's energy minister says members of OPEC and other key oil producers will meet next month to discuss a freeze in oil output levels.

Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said in a statement on Wednesday that the meeting will take place in the Qatari capital of Doha on April 17.

Energy ministers from Russia and OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela pledged to cap their output levels if others do the same in an effort to bolster oil prices during a meeting in Doha last month. Other major producers have since said they would support the initiative.

A plunge in oil prices since the summer of 2014 is straining the budgets of major oil producers. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 37 cents to $36.71 a barrel in electronic trading early Wednesday.

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