Qatar to quit OPEC in 2019: energy minister

Qatar’s exit puts question mark on OPEC’s future

Qatar to quit OPEC in 2019: energy minister

In a statement, al-Kaabi said Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas, planned to increase its exports from 77 million tons of gas per year to 110 million tons.

OPEC and Russian Federation, who together produce about 40 percent of the world's oil, this week said they agreed on new oil production cuts to ensure oil price does not drop too much in the coming months.

Qatar is to pull out of Opec after almost 60 years of membership of the oil cartel, but will attend a meeting this week that will discuss cutting output.

Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi on Monday announced his country will leave the OPEC next month in order for the Gulf state to focus on gas production.

Qatar announces it is withdrawing from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) effective January 1, 2019.

One Opec source told Reuters the decision was more symbolic than anything else. "I assure you this purely was a decision on what's right for Qatar long term".

Now Qatar will be able to produce at whatever level it wants, she said, "but I wouldn't see it as a threat to Opec's efforts to cut their production because [Qatar] is not capable on its own of flooding the market". "A lot of people will politicise it", Al-Kaabi said. Basically, Qataris have brought the biggest weapon out and it only means more instability between the Qatari and Saudi relationship. Yes, for now, there is optimism that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are committed to keep the supply under control.

Covering an area of around 12 thousand square kilometres and with a population of nearly 2.7 million, Qatar is the smallest Opec member country in terms of both area and population.

Apart from petroleum, Qatar's other energy resources include natural gas.

The withdrawal comes as other non-Opec countries such as Russian Federation have gained more clout alongside Saudi Arabia in setting oil policy.

"Qatar is proud in its worldwide standing at the forefront of natural gas producers, and as the biggest exporter of [the liquid natural gas] LNG - the cleanest fossil fuel, which has given Qatar a strong and resilient economy".

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