Qatar quits worldwide oil cartel Opec amid ongoing regional tensions

Qatar quits worldwide oil cartel Opec amid ongoing regional tensions

Qatar has announced it is pulling out of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) just days before countries in the the oil producing cartel meet in Vienna. Moreover, OPEC only deals with crude oil, not the liquefied natural gas Qatar is better at producing, and the U.S.is a net exporter of liquefied natural gas anyway.

According to OPEC, Qatar produced only about 1% of OPEC member states' total output of petroleum in October 2018, the most recent month for which there is data.

"Qatar has made a decision to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019", Kaabi said at a Doha press conference.

"We don't have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic". "Our potential is gas", he said.

Oil prices have fallen more than 25 per cent since climbing to a four-year peak in early October, amid intensifying concerns of oversupply and worries over slowing economic growth.

Qatar is a minnow in oil and a giant in natural gas. A Saudi-led coalition implemented a blockade on Qatar in June a year ago, severing diplomatic, trade and transport links as they accused Doha of funding extremist groups and being too close to Iran.

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US President Donald Trump initially appeared to side with Doha's foes and take responsibility for the blockade.

The decision to withdraw was because of Qatar's plans to increase production, the minister said.

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. "If you aren't on board with a tough decision like to reduce, and Qatar was never in that position since it is a relatively small producer", she said, then you have no sway.

Its biggest contributor, Saudi Arabia, now extracts 11 million per day.

"Quitting OPEC is largely symbolic for Qatar", said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd in London. In the year to September 2018, the USA only imported an average of 543,000 barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products.

Mordecai Ladan, the director, DPR, said the oil and gas industry seemed to be under a new threat, which he described as the renewed dislike and global war against fossil fuels and the quest for renewable and cleaner energy.

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