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Opec’s inertia: still no freeze, still no quota

Despite some initial talk that a deal to freeze the group’s production may be reached, Iran and higher oil prices have proved stumbling blocks

OPEC surprised few in Vienna, when it failed to agree on either an oil-output freeze or a new production ceiling. That's despite Saudi Arabia suggesting in the days prior to the meeting on 2 June that reaching a deal to freeze the group’s output was within its grasp. Khalid Al-Falih – the Kingdom’s oil minister – told journalists that its priority was “for the long-term stability of the market'. It was "time to steward" the market towards rebalancing, he said. But discord among Opec member states was clear from the outset. UAE oil minister Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei said reintroducing a group-wide production ceiling would need unanimous agreement. Until December Opec had an agreed

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