We're quitting OPEC in 2019

Roman Schwartz
December 3, 2018

Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister, told a news conference: "Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership from Opec effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to Opec this morning".

Officials in Doha claim this is not behind their reason to leave OPEC, however, Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi made a less than veiled swipe at the boycotters during the announcement.

Not getting involved in policies that support Iran's destabilizing agenda for the region and greater coordination in dealing with Yemeni and Libyan issues was also agreed to by the two countries, the Arab Weekly said, citing sources. "Our potential is gas", he said.

Qatari is one of the cartel's smallest oil producers, but is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

An existing deal committing OPEC and non-members to cuts expires this year.

Qatar's oil production is around 600,000 barrels per day and it is the world's 17th largest producer of crude oil, according to specialist website, world data.info. The boycotters accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel
Oil shock: Qatar pulls out of OPEC

US President Donald Trump initially appeared to side with Doha's foes and take responsibility for the blockade. Brent crude oil prices slid to below $60 a barrel last week while United States crude fell below $50 a barrel. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

The minister said the withdrawal reflects his country's desire to focus on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons in coming years.

Qatar is quitting the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting as it plans its long-term strategy.

Al-Kaabi said Qatar Petroleum planned to raise its production capability from 4.8 million barrels oil equivalent per day to 6.5 million barrels in the next decade.

Likewise, Qatar's departure isn't likely to affect OPEC very much economically, but the departure of the 57-year veteran member is a symbolic loss.

"We will make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon", he said.

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