Qatar withdraws from Opec

Qatar quitting OPEC 'bad for oil cartel's and Saudi credibility'

AFP Alexander Klein

Minister of State for Energy Affairs, HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi announced Qatar's withdrawal from OPEC at a press conference in Doha and said the organization was informed.

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

Kaabi said Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, planned to increase its exports from 77 million tons of gas per year to 110 million tons.

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"In light of such efforts and plans, and in our pursuit to strengthen Qatar's position as a reliable and trustworthy energy supplier across the globe, we had to take steps to review Qatar's role and contributions on the global energy scene", al-Kaabi said in a statement. The Opec is estimated to now account for almost half of the global oil production and so has a major say in oil prices.

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

The Energy Minister said Qatar's decision to withdraw from Opec is not related to the boycott, referring to actions by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE to cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of seeking closer ties with Iran and supporting extremism in the region, which has been in place since 2017.

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Qatar has announced it is pulling out of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) just days before countries in the the oil producing cartel meet in Vienna.

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

It took years for engineers to discover the field's vast reserves, which shot Qatar to No 3 in world rankings, behind Russian Federation and Iran, with which it shares the North Field.

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