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    In this Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, file photo, an oil pump stands as the Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team of the Royal Saudi Air Force performs during the Bahrain International Airshow in Sakhir, Bahrain

    Norway Refuses to Speculate on Oil Price Effects of Doha Talks Failure

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    The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy refuses to speculate on the possible price consequences of the oil producing countries' failure to reach a deal to freeze oil output, a spokesman for the ministry told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, the participants of the negotiations of the world's major oil-producing countries, which included both Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and non-cartel producers, failed to reach an agreement on freezing production levels. The news triggered a sharp drop of about 4 percent in oil prices.

    "Several factors affect the oil market, both in the long and short term. We do not wish to speculate as to what effect the fall-out from the Doha-meeting will have on the oil market," the ministry's communication adviser Hakon Smith-Isaksen said.

    Previous to the negotiations, Iran ruled out freezing its production levels citing the need to regain its market share following the lifting of the international sanctions in January. On Sunday, Tehran made a last minute decision not to attend the Doha talks that prompted Saudi Arabia to refuse the idea of freezing production unless other major producers did the same.

    Norway also got the invitation to participate in the Doha talks, but chose not to attend, though, as stated by the spokesperson, "the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has regular contacts with other countries and participants in the oil and gas market".

    Global oil prices plunged from $115 to less than $30 per barrel between June 2014 and January 2016, hitting their lowest levels since 2003 amid the ongoing glut in global oil supply.

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