Qatar to withdraw from OPEC in January 2019

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel

"Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership form OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning", the minister said on Monday at a news conference.

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is still planning to take part in the meeting scheduled for December 6 in Vienna.

The announcement was made by the Gulf state's new energy minister, Saad al-Kaabi, on Monday.

In April, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar "would fall in less than a week" if it were not for the USA al-Udeid base there.

Oil prices soared on Monday after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia renewed an agreement to cap output, while the USA agreed to halt raising tariffs on Chinese imports, stalling a trade row that many feared could hit demand for the commodity.

"The nature of the animal as far as Opec is concerned is the bigger production capacity you have then the more weight you carry", Vandana Hari, founder and chief executive of Vanda Insights, told The National.

He said geopolitics was not factor in the decision.

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Qatar has been an OPEC member for 57 years. Basically, Qataris have brought the biggest weapon out and it only means more instability between the Qatari and Saudi relationship.

"For now, there is optimism that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are committed to keep the supply under control".

Qatar, a country of 2.6 million people where citizens make up over 10 per cent of the population, discovered the offshore North Field in 1971, the same year it became independent.

But Doha is an influential player in the global LNG market with annual production of 77 million tonnes per year, based on its huge reserves of the fuel in the Gulf.

The nation joined the organisation in 1961.

Doha, one of the smallest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is locked in a diplomatic dispute with the group's de facto leader Saudi Arabia but said the move to leave Opec was not driven by politics.

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