Qatar to withdraw from OPEC as of Jan 2019: minister

04 December, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Qatar Withdraws From OPEC

"Qatar is a tiny oil producer - accounting for less than two percent of the cartel's output - but it is one of the world's largest LNG producers and as such membership of OPEC doesn't really deliver the benefits that it does to other member nations", Kelty added.

Qatar in a surprise announcement on Monday said it would leave OPEC next month in a move that appears to have been meant to take a swipe at the group's de factor leader Saudi Arabia.

Twitter handles were abuzz with the news break."It is better if OPEC breaks, free market may stablise oil prices", read a tweet.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers, led by Russian Federation, will discuss output levels at a meeting of the cartel that begins Thursday in Vienna.

The news was confirmed by Qatari Energy Minister, Saad al-Kaabi.

Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects, told Reuters that Doha's withdrawal "doesn't affect OPEC's ability to influence, as Qatar was a very small player". That rising supply, coupled with the Trump administration allowing many countries to continue to import Iranian oil despite his targeting of Tehran with sanctions, has seen global prices drop.

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With Qatar, OPEC had 15 members, including Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. With these factors together, the nation is cutting ties with OPEC.

The immediate impact of the announcements saw a significant rise in oil prices, as the cost of Brent crude rose by US$2.60 to $62.06 and West Texas Intermediate increased by $2.42 to $53.35 per barrel on Monday.

It was also pointed out that in focusing on natural gas, Qatar is betting on the vast resources it controls in the waters that surround it. Consumption of liquefied natural gas, which is chilled to liquid form and transported on special ships, is growing faster than that of natural gas or oil.

Qatar announced it is leaving the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to focus on plans to increase its natural gas. That's compared to an average of 861,000 per day from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain started boycotting Qatar previous year, accusing Doha of funding militants across the Middle East and fostering ties with Iran, charges that Qatar denies.

The state petroleum agency that reported the news said that the body had been informed of the move. QNB's monthly monitor report for November noted the country's oil production fell to 570000/d in September from 612000b/d in August.

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