Other producers like Mexico have already entered a period of structural decline and further cuts would be untenable.
But there is another reason for inaction: Market conditions simply aren't scary enough anymore.
JPMorgan analysts said in a research note, "The cycle lows have most likely [passed], and OPEC must now rely on the threat of a return to these conditions as leverage in their discussions with non-OPEC exporters."
Indeed, the idea to freeze production first surfaced when Brent crude hit a 12-year low of $27 a barrel this winter. But with oil trading between $50 and $55, non-OPEC producers may be too complacent to cut, said Robert McNally, president of The Rapidan Group.
"The only time you get real collective cuts, including by non-OPEC, is when prevailing prices are at rock bottom lows," he told CNBC. "My sense is the fear factor is not strong enough to get countries to do anything but promise cuts that they never intend to make."
To be sure, OPEC and world oil producers have been here before. In the midst of an economic slump in 2001, non-OPEC producers including Russia, Norway and Mexico agreed to cut 500,000 barrels a day to boost the impact of OPEC's 1.5-million-barrel pullback.
Russia was widely seen ignoring its pledge to cut 150,000 barrels a day, and Norway eventually abandoned its quotas.
Now, Russia is ostensibly back on board. But many analysts are focusing on the phrasing of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak's pledge, which McNally called a "litany of hedges, caveats and conditions."
After the agreement was announced, Novak said, "Russia will gradually cut output in the first half of 2017 by up to 300,000 barrels per day, on a tight schedule as technical capabilities allow."
Analysts say that statement gives Russia plenty of wiggle room in terms of when its producers begin cutting, how much they cut and their capability to cut.
The country has recently bought itself breathing room as well. On Wednesday, the Kremlin announced it had agreed to sell a 19.5-percent stake in Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft, for $11 billion.
Moscow has already taken other measures to weather the downturn, including devaluing its currency. Regional neighbors Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan followed suit, stoking inflation in the short term, but protecting their exports.
Those adjustments were painful at first but have made the oil price downturn more bearable, said Chris Weafer, co-founder of consulting agency Macro Advisory Partners. Meanwhile, the Saudis and other Gulf oil producers have kept their currency pegged to the U.S. dollar, forcing them to draw down reserves.
Now, non-OPEC producers may be attending this weekend's meeting simply because the appearance of a deal can provide additional relief.
"They understand it's good politically to give support to this deal because it provides support for the oil price through the winter, but in reality I don't think anyone expects this to be carried through in any credible way," he said.