El-Badri during the panel discussion explained that if prices do rise, the industry will respond with more output. "Any increase (in price), the shale oil will come immediately and cover any reduction," he said, adding a balance needs to be found. "In the past, supply didn't come in when production was cut."
So far, talk of the production freeze deal has driven up prices, but some analysts are skeptical that without an actual cut, just leveling off production will not turn the tide of oversupply.
Neil Atikinson, head of the International Energy Agency's oil market division, said the four producers who proposed the freeze were not anticipated to increase production anyway, and lacking a cut the outlook does not change.
"It makes no difference to current market fundamentals," Atkinson said. He was also attending the IHS CERAWeek conference.
Russia has said it would like to have consultations on a preliminary deal completed by March 1, with other countries including Norway and Mexico. Tord Lien, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy told CNBC that his country speaks to other producing nations but would not comment on whether it was talking to Russia or its position on the freeze. Lien was part of an afternoon panel at CERAWeek on Monday.
El-Badri described the challenges facing OPEC with the growth of the U.S. shale industry, noting the U.S. cannot be brought into an accord like other producing nations with national oil companies.
The IEA said in a new report Monday that U.S. shale producers will take the biggest hit, with U.S. production expected to drop by 600,000 barrels of light tight oil this year because of weak crude prices. It sees another 200,000 barrels lost next year but then sees prices stabilizing.
The IEA report helped fuel a rally in West Texas Intermediate crude, which was also responding to falling rig counts. WTI futures for March expired Monday. The contract settled at $31.48 per barrel, up 6.2 percent.
John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital, said the freeze talk also has pushed up the price. "I think the market's giving them entire credit to have this freeze seemingly in place," said Kilduff.
"He stated a lot of the obvious," said Kilduff of El-Badri. "When it comes from him it carries more weight. They have a problem with the shale guys and he acknowledged that."