Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Qatar to quit global oil body Opec

Qatar to quit global oil body Opec

Qatar is withdrawing from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) as of January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister said on Monday.

OPEC, which Qatar joined in 1961, was informed of the decision ahead of the announcement, he said.

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

He also said Qatar wants to raise its oil production from 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day to 6.5 million barrels.

One Opec source told Reuters the decision was more symbolic than anything else.

The organisation is dominated by oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which since June 2017 has led a bloc of countries in imposing a blockade on Qatar.

Qatar has announced that it will leave OPEC next month.

The oil price is updated at least October 2017
Americans consume roughly 400 million gallons of gasoline a day, so every time prices fall by a penny they save about $4 million. Putin also thanked Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince for the OPEC-Russia cooperation in managing the oil market.

Oil and natural gas account for a substantial share of the country's gross domestic product, according to Opec.

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

Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects, said Qatar's withdrawal "doesn't affect OPEC's ability to influence as Qatar was a very small player".

Mr Al Kaabi 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 past year.

Al-Kaabi, who is heading Qatar's Opec delegation, said the decision was not political but related to the country's long-term strategy and plans to develop its gas industry and increase LNG output to 110 million tonnes by 2024.

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. Doha also plans to build the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.

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