N. Sea Brent crude stagnates at $35-barrel as Saudi Arabia scotches speculation about increasing oil production

leaking oil barrelSaudi Arabia is “not prepared” to cut oil production, the independent Agence France-Presse global newswire has reported, quoting Riyadh’s foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir.

“If other producers want to limit or agree to a freeze in terms of additional production that may have an impact on the market but Saudi Arabia is not prepared to cut production,” al-Jubeir told AFP in an interview.

“The oil issue will be determined by supply and demand and by market forces. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia will protect its market share and we have said so.”

Crude oil prices rose more than 14% over the last three days after a plan by Saudi Arabia and Russia – endorsed without commitment by Iran on Wednesday –  to freeze oil output at January’s highs.

Consequently, the price of the North Sea benchmark Brent crude oil stagnated for the second day at around $35-barrel.

The Saudi-Russian production freeze plan, also joined by Qatar and Venezuela, is the first such deal in 15 years between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh welcomed the plan without committing to it.

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