Doha disappoints offshore
Yesterday’s much touted meeting in Doha that was aimed at initiating a freeze in production by OPEC countries and Russia ended late in the day without any agreement being reached. Iran, which has made no secret of the fact that it had no intention of freezing production and was in fact looking to lift output to recover ground lost during the recent sanctions, was not even present at the meeting. Canada and the US which are also major oil producers did not attend the meeting either. The hopes of an output freeze had helped push up oil prices in recent weeks although part of the rise was also due to a soft dollar. Over the last few days in the run up to Doha, oil prices had softened a little but there is now likely to be a more pronounced fall possibly back to around $30 per barrel. With no agreement to even keep production at current levels which are already considerably in front of demand, the next meeting scheduled for June is the best hope for suffering producers. As far as shipping is concerned it should mean that bunker prices will stay low which is good news for all but the offshore sector that had been hoping for a firming of the oil price.