Saudi Arabia has offered to cut oil production in a bid to stabilize the crude market, but only if Iran agrees to freeze output this year, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three sources familiar with the discussions. The offer was made earlier this month and comes just ahead of the closely watched meeting between major oil producers next week in Algeria. There has been a raft of rhetoric from OPEC producers that a deal to cap production could be reached at the meeting, but traders have still been cautious not to jump too deep into the oil market. Previous meetings to discuss an output freeze have ended with no deal and failed to prop up the struggling market. Iran has yet to accept or reject the offer from Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. The Saudis are asking Tehran to freeze its production at the current level of 3.6 million barrels a day, in return for Riyadh to cut output to levels seen earlier this year. Crude oil briefly spiked to as high as $46.55 a barrel, but has since slipped back to $46.18. That's down 0.3% from Thursday's settlement. Brent rose 0.4% to $47.86, erasing an earlier loss.
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