A Libyan OPEC delegate said on Tuesday that Libya would not attend the meeting in Doha next month to discuss the supply freeze. The gathering would be a follow-up to a Feb. 16 pact among Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela to help OPEC and major producers outside the cartel to keep output at January's levels and bring oil supply back in line with demand. Abdalla Salem el-Badri, OPEC’s secretary-general, said that about 15 countries are going to attend this meeting, yet some of the members will not attend.
Following Iran`s rejection, Libya announced after deadly blasts in Brussels that they have to go back to their production when the security situation in the country improves. Although the conflict in Libya has slowed its output to around 400,000 barrels per day since 2014 and the chance of it increasing production swiftly is low, the potential volume Libya and Iran could add to the market is significant. The absence of the two OPEC members would limit the impact of the freeze by producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, plus non-OPEC Russia.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday`s morning and rebound thereafter. Brent was up 18 cents at $41.72 a barrel by noon, after hitting a session low of $40.97. U.S. crude CLc1 slipped 15 cents to $41.37, recovering from an intraday low of $40.77.