Oil Prices Surge With News Of OPEC Meeting That Is Not Taking Place

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Oil investors had good reason to be happy as prices trended upward Wednesday with news of an upcoming OPEC meeting in Russia next month.

There's just one problem: no such meeting is actually going to take place, according to Russia's energy minister.

crude oil chart

Fayyad Al-Nima, Iraq's Deputy Oil Minister, said Wednesday a possible meeting involving OPEC producers could take place in May, following recent talks in Doha, Qatar that failed to produce an agreement to freeze oil production, Bloomberg reported.

"Iraq's view is to have a freeze in output for a short period to help protect the interests of both producers and consumers equally by easing the surplus from the market and improving prices," Al-Nima told the news service.

The price of crude oil jumped to just under $44 per barrel amid news of an upcoming meeting.

But Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quick to throw cold water on the prospect, saying "no such agreement" had been reached to host follow-up talks there, Reuters reported.

doha saudi arabia april
Venezuelan Petroleum Minister Eulogio del Pino arrives for the OPEC meeting, in the Qatari capital Doha on April 17, 2016. (Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

Talks in Doha fell apart after Iran failed to show up. The Islamic Republic is refusing to freeze its oil production after international sanctions were lifted in January.

Meanwhile, regional rival Saudi Arabia is also refusing to cap its own production if Iran doesn't do the same.

Capping production would help stem a decline in oil prices from about $100 to $40 per barrel in two years.

Evidently, freezing production doesn't actually need to happen for oil prices to keep surging.

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