Qatar pulls out of Opec to focus on gas production

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel

But gas production would remain the top priority for Qatar, which is the world's the biggest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG).

"Our potential is gas", said Mr al-Kaabi.

Kaabi said that OPEC, which Qatar joined in 1961, was told of the decision on Monday ahead of the announcement.

Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister, told a news conference: "Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership from Opec effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to Opec this morning".

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

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel
Oil shock: Qatar pulls out of OPEC

In April, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar "would fall in less than a week" if it were not for the U.S. al-Udeid base there. Since reaching its four-year peak in early October, global prices for crude have dropped more than 25 percent.

"Achieving our ambitious growth strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar's position as the leading natural gas producer", al-Kaabi. Oil prices surged on Monday after the USA and China agreed a 90-day truce in their trade war at a weekend meeting of the G20 nations in Argentina. Mining stocks are also surging.

"Qatar has chose to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 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. Basically, Qataris have brought the biggest weapon out and it only means more instability between the Qatari and Saudi relationship.

According to the energy minister, the decision is not connected to the political and economic boycott of Qatar pushed by its powerful neighbor Saudi Arabia since June 2017 and supported by three other Arab nations. "This has jolted the price of oil higher especially the fact that Canada's largest oil-producing province is curbing the output".

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