Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar announced Feb. 23 that they’ve agreed on a plan to freeze oil production at current levels to help stop a decline in oil prices caused in part by oversupply in the market. They’re waiting for other major oil producing nations to join them before going ahead. Iraq said they’d be up for it, too.
Oil prices have been hovering around their lowest levels in over a decade, and countries that depend on oil exports to drive their economies are understandably panicked. And yet, they’ve kept on pumping.
But even if the biggest producers slow down from here, there’s one question everybody’s still asking: What will Iran do?
Fresh off the lifting of most international sanctions, Iran is looking to get back in the oil game. It will take time for the country to become a major player once again, as GlobalPost’s Allison Jackson explains, but a commitment from Tehran to manage production levels could go a long way toward stabilizing the markets. Iran’s oil minister said in response to the agreement that his country would not “relinquish its share” of the market, but that there’s “room for discussion.”