The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates has refused to discuss a proposed cap to crude oil production.

Followed by journalists, Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei didn't take any questions Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai. To avoid reporters, al-Mazrouei walked into a side room at a hotel, then had security guards put up a golden rope to keep journalists away.

Oil powerhouses Russia and Saudi Arabia have joined Qatar and Venezuela in pledging to cap their crude output if other producers do the same to halt a slide in prices. No UAE official attended the meeting.

A barrel of benchmark New York crude fell 40 cents to close at $29.04 in New York on Tuesday. A barrel of Brent, the international standard, fell $1.21 to $32.18.