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Oil prices fall again on output fears

BBC News BBC News 4/04/2016

Oil refining facilities © Getty Images Oil refining facilities Oil prices have fallen again amid doubts that output will be reined in at a meeting later this month. 

Iran's oil minister has reportedly repeated that the country will continue to increase production and exports.

The decline follows big falls on Friday after Saudi Arabia said it would freeze production only if other major producers did the same.

Oil producers are due to meet on 17 April in Doha to discuss a deal to freeze output at January levels.

Brent crude has fallen by 0.9% to trade at $38.32.

'Continue increasing production'

In February, Saudi Arabia struck a deal with Russia and other Opec nations to freeze oil output at January levels.

But Iran wants production to hit pre-sanction levels before beginning talks.

Over the weekend, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh told Iran's Mehr News agency that the country would continue increasing its production and exports until it reached the market position it held before the imposition of sanctions.

Mehr quotes him as saying he would attend the meeting in the Qatari capital "if he had time".

His latest comments reinforce similar comments he made last month. Then, he made it clear Iran would only join discussions to cap output after its production reached four million barrels per day.

Supply freeze

Oil prices hit a peak of $116 in June 2014, but have subsequently dived because of oversupply and sluggish demand.

The Doha meeting, which will involve Opec and non-Opec members, will discuss freezing supply to help push the oil price back up.

However, in an interview with Bloomberg last week, Saudi Arabia's deputy crown price Mohammed bin Salman said: "If all countries agree to freeze production, we will be among them."

He was asked if Iran had to be among those countries, to which he replied: "Without doubt."

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