Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar are set to freeze oil production levels, but that won't be enough to lift the bruised commodity, according to one analyst.

"The agreement itself is not going to do very much -- certainly not in the long-term," said Spencer Welch, an oil analyst at IHS, based in London. "The market is already oversupplied, so those countries are just carrying on supply at their current rate."

The aforementioned producers are set to maintain January's production levels. This could open the door to production cuts, a move that could ignite prices. But Welch doesn't think cuts are likely. "They'd have to agree how much they were going to cut and who was going to cut what and I think that would be very difficult for them to reach that agreement," Welch said.

Talks of stable or lower production come at a murky time as Iran looks to reestablish itself as a major player in the global oil stage, following the removal of a host of sanctions against the nation amid its recent nuclear deal with the United States and other Western authorities.

"Iran is trying to increase production and regain market share that it lost over the past couple of years," he said. "It will have a bearish impact on prices - pushing prices down because of additional oil."

While Welch expects 400,000 barrels from Iran to hit the markets by the middle of the year, he said investors have priced in this extra supply. Prices for oil in the U.S., known as West Texas Intermediate, fell 2% in midday trading on Tuesday. The closely watched commodity lost 24% year to date and 53% over the past 12 months. Brent, the international benchmark for oil, also slumped 2.3% on Tuesday and is down 16% since the start of the year and 52 percent year-over-year.

Welch expects the oil market to continue to be oversupplied during the first half of 2016, adding that a $30 a barrel bottom in prices is realistic. However, Welch sees prices accelerating during the second half of 2016 and into 2017 as increased demand and reduced production in the United States takes shape.

 

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