QATAR TO WITHDRAW FROM OPEC AS OF JAN 2019: MINISTER

DOHA, Qatar is withdrawing from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as of Jan, 2019, Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, president and chief executive of QP, said today (Monday).

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.

“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership form OPEC, effective Jan, 2019, and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” he told a news conference, adding that, Qatar would still attend an OPEC meeting in Vienna this week.

The announcement comes ahead of the meeting by OPEC and its allies, including Russia, on Dec 6-7, to discuss cutting supply.

The minister said, the decision was not easy, as Qatar has been in OPEC for 57 years, but that the country’s impact on OPEC production decisions was small.

He stressed that, Doha would continue to abide by all its commitments, like any other non-OPEC oil producer.

The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s intent to focus its efforts on developing its natural gas industry, the minister said, as the Gulf Arab state moves to increase LNG production from 77 million to 110 million tonnes annually.

He said, the decision was not linked to a political and economic boycott of Qatar, imposed since Jun, 2017, by OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK