Qatar to withdraw from OPEC, focus on gas exports

Qatar Decides to Withdraw Membership From OPEC in January Announces Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi

Qatar has quit the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) after nearly six decades, just days ahead of the cartel's next oil market meeting.

That meeting is expected to set a policy for 2019 and despite Qatar's announcement, oil prices soared on Monday after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia renewed a pact to cap output on the sidelines of a G20 summit. 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.

Qatar has said it will be withdrawing from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019.

Qatar also wants to raise its oil production from 4.8 million barrels a day to 6.5 million barrels, he said.

Oil prices soared around 5 per cent on Monday after the United States and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war, and ahead of a meeting this week by producer club OPEC that is expected to result in a supply cut. Although Russia and Saudi Arabia have yet to confirm any fresh cuts, their agreement opened the door for a deal when OPEC meets this week in Vienna.

This story has been corrected to show that the name of the minister is Saad Sherida al-Kaabi.

Describing reactions to the decision in the business world, Kenyon reports that prices jumped in early trading Monday, with analysts citing hopes for easing trade tensions between the USA and China, along with Qatar's withdrawal from OPEC.

Kaabi said, "Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019".

"They are making their point", the expert said, stressing Doha was driven by Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led blockade. "It will hit [the] credibility of the OPEC, as well as it will hit Saudi Arabia as the de-facto leader of the OPEC". With these factors together, the nation is cutting ties with OPEC.

They are accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism.

The low oil price benefits consumers in the United States as well as countries such as Turkey and Pakistan, which depend on imports to meet their energy needs. Prices in Omani crude also reflected a change, with the Dubai Mercantile Exchange reporting that Omani crude oil had increased by $2.05 to reach $61.42. QNB's monthly monitor report for November noted the country's oil production fell to 570000/d in September from 612000b/d in August.

The surprise decision comes just two days before the oil cartel will discuss production cuts, which countries dependent on energy exports quite desperately need.

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