There won’t be another freefall of petroleum prices. Elvira Nabiullina of the Central Bank of Russia believes the price per barrel will remain around 40 USD over the next three years. "We are considering several scenarios of economic development," Nabiullina explained to the Tass news agency, "our base scenario includes $40 per barrel in the next three years." The price of oil is a crucial factor in much of the budget of countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and others that have made a fundamental revenue stream out of exports. Riyadh, for example, in the face of dropping oil stocks, has had to cut salaries and bonuses of public sector workers and remove its minister of finance.
It is OPEC itself, most forcefully Qatar, Algeria and Venezuela, that has been pressuring oil producer nations to agree to an output freeze deal within two weeks, in order to stabilize prices by reducing the supply-to-demand ratio. Otherwise the market risks stagnation, flooded with surplus petroleum products in 2017 (as pointed out by the IEA).
To make matters even more complicated, on Sunday Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced that his country has added another 250,000 barrels to its daily oil output, thanks in part to the opening of three new oilfields in the west of Iran. Their management has been entrusted to three different companies: the Chinese firm Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation and Persian Oil and Gas Development of Iran. Tehran also recently signed a deal with Total authorizing the company to explore new sites for liquefied natural gas extraction, with a potential output of 2 million cubic feet of gas per day. Before international sanctions were imposed on it, Iran had been producing 12% of OPEC oil.