OPEC fails to agree on a ceiling for oil production again - for the second time in row. Worries about Iran's intention and the threat of a Saudi glut on the markets overshadowing the event, even as leaders talk up the positives of a rebound in the oil price. Joel Flynn reports.
Until last year agreement at OPEC meetings was the norm. Now that seems like a world away - the latest sitdown between members failing to yield consensus on production. Troubling times for those struggling with low prices. SOUNDBITE: Outgoing OPEC Secretary General, Abdallah Salem el-Badri, saying (English): "It's no secret that Iran still wants to produce its pre-sanctions quantity, and also we have another country that's missing from the market, Libya, so to come up with a number is very difficult to do." Its market percentages, not prices, that many are most worried about though. Tehran's return to markets following the lifting of sanctions means it wants to get its share back up. Saudi Arabia has promised not to flood the oil market with further supply. The prospect of coordinated action though looks a long way off, despite an increasingly conciliatory tone ahead of the meeting. SOUNDBITE: Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, saying (English): "We will do what we have to do. I don't call that flooding, we are just going to supply the market if the market needs to be supplied." Oversupplied markets saw the cost of crude plunge to 28 dollars a barrel earlier this year. Since then a raft of problems in oil producers Nigeria and Canada, as well as Libya, have pushed prices back to 50 dollars. Some producers say this is evidence that they've ridden out the storm - but that could be wishful thinking. SOUNDBITE: Panmure Gordon Chief Economist, Simon French, saying (English): "I don't think we see a leg up from 50 dollars, I think we start to see downward pressures for the rest of the year as some of those production shortages due to external events start to diminish in importance." Coordination might be a way off, but many who were at the meeting will still agree on one thing - more action is needed.