All signs suggest a meeting of oil-producing countries on April 17 will deliver an agreement to freeze output, Kuwait's OPEC governor and two sources said, suggesting Iran's aim to raise supply will not scupper a deal aimed at supporting prices.
The Kuwaiti governor, Nawal Al-Fuzaia, also said in a speech at the country's oil ministry that she expected the oil market to achieve a balance between supply and demand in the second half of this year, leading to higher average prices.
"There are positive indications an agreement will be reached during this meeting ... an initial agreement on freezing production," she said. The OPEC governor is usually a country's No. 2 OPEC official, after the oil minister.
Two other sources familiar with the issue said the initiative remained on track, even though comments by Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince in an interview with Bloomberg last week had dampened hopes of an accord.