Saudi Arabia says will only freeze oil output if others do

RIYADH: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will only freeze output if other key producers, including Iran, take a similar measure, its deputy crown prince told Bloomberg News in an interview published Friday.

“If all countries agree to freeze production, we’re ready,” Mohammed bin Salman said. “If there is anyone that decides to raise their production, then we will not reject any opportunity that knocks on our door.”

His remarks come ahead of a meeting of major oil producers led by Russia and Saudi Arabia set to take place in Doha on April 17 to discuss measures to stabilise prices, including a proposal not to pump out oil above a certain level.

Iran indicated it was “ready to participate” in the meeting demanded an exemption from the freeze in order to boost its exports, according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Oil prices are being hit in part owing to the return of Iranian crude to markets after crippling economic sanctions on Tehran were lifted following last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

King Salman’s son who heads Saudi Arabia’s main economic coordinating council, told Bloomberg that “without a doubt”, Iran has to freeze its output.

“If all countries including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, OPEC countries and all main producers decide to freeze production, we will be among them,” he said. AFP