Qatar to quit global oil body Opec

Qatar to quit global oil body Opec

Qatar to quit global oil body Opec

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".

"Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019", the minister said at a press conference in Doha.

The decision came after Qatar, one of Opec's smallest producers but the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter, reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan long-term strategy, including focusing on its gas industry, he said.

Opec members are widely expected to cut production, after seeing oil price tumble this autumn.

The decision to withdraw was because of Qatar's plans to increase production, the minister said.

The oil prices in October, reached a four-year high of $86, but since then the price has dropped to about $60 per barrel.

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Qatar is the world's biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), producing nearly 30 percent of the world's natural gas.

Naeem Aslam, an analyst at online broker ThinkMarkets, said: "Qatar leaving Opec isn't great news for the oil market and the market participants haven't digested the full impact of this news".

Al-Kaabi said that Qatar chose to pull out this calendar year as to not be an OPEC member in 2019.

"Achieving our ambitious growth strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar's position as the leading natural gas producer", al-Kaabi.

Qatar has spend the last year-and-a-half battling attempts by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (both of them are members of the Opec) to isolate it in the Middle East.

The announcement comes days before the Opec summit in Vienna. "I assure you this purely was a decision on what's right for Qatar long term".

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