Ecuador Says Global Oil Producers Won't Discuss Cuts in Doha

(Bloomberg) -- Oil-producing countries meeting in Doha, Qatar, this month won’t discuss output cuts, Ecuador Oil Minister Carlos Pareja said.

“We are going to give a message of support,” Pareja said in Quito, where Ecuador, OPEC’s smallest member, is hosting a meeting of Latin American producers ahead of the April 17 meeting in Doha. Waiting for the market to balance itself would be “catastrophic,” and OPEC could discuss a “solution” at its next regular meeting.

Oil has jumped more than 50 percent in New York since falling to a 12-year low in February as producers including Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, and Russia propose discussions to freeze production at January levels. Prices are still down by more than 60 percent from their mid-2014 peak, crimping public finances at countries like Venezuela that depend on petrodollars for most of their revenue.

Venezuelan Energy Minister Eulogio Del Pino, one of the most vocal advocates of a freeze, reiterated in Quito his call for OPEC and non-OPEC nations to seek an oil price “balance.”

Doubts were cast on the likelihood of a deal after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his kingdom should only freeze output if Iran also did so. Meanwhile, Iran is determined to regain market share lost over the past few years due to sanctions over its nuclear program.

Kuwait this week renewed optimism that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producing nations can reach an agreement after its governor to OPEC, Nawal al-Fezaia, said a freeze can be reached even without Iran.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Gill in Quito at ngill4@bloomberg.net ;Andrew Willis in Bogota at awillis21@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Carlos Caminada

Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.

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