Oil producing nations failed to reach an agreement on global production at this weekend’s highly-anticipated meeting in Doha, Qatar.
In the wake of the failed talks, the core disagreement seems to have come from Iran’s decision not to attend the meeting, given that Saudi Arabia said it would not agree to any deal that did not also see Iran freeze production.
But a report from Bloomberg News, which provides the tick-by-tick on how talks ultimately broke down, gives us a great detail on just how tedious the meeting got as talks disintegrated.
Here’s Bloomberg (emphasis mine):
Once the meeting proper got underway, the haggling continued. In the hotel’s gaudy gold-leafed ballroom, ministers huddled round a PC taking it in turns to try and find the key sentence everyone could agree upon, according a person inside the room, who asked to not identified because the deliberations were confidential.
So it was like every painful group project you’ve ever worked on using a shared Google doc… except you were literally passing around a computer and the fate of global oil markets was (sort of) hanging in the balance.
Ultimately, no deal was reached. OPEC is set to meet again in June.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting, however, all signs were pointing to a failed summit as reports surfaced that Iran would not be attending and the Saudis had made known that Iran would need to be included in any deal.
And so the already-oversupplied oil market will remain flooded with oil and, as a result, prices fell as much as 7% when futures re-opened Sunday night.
Near 8:00 a.m. ET in New York on Monday morning, prices had recovered some with West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the US benchmark, down about 3.8% to near $40.10 while Brent crude, the international benchmark, was off 3.5% to $41.60.