One of the world’s key energy producers, Qatar, has confirmed that they will be leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on January 1, Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said.
The country has been a OPEC member for 57 years.
“Qatar has decided 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.
The decision and the announcement was after crucial meeting between the cartel’s members and its non-OPEC allies.
Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), they are still planning to meet with OPEC members, a meeting scheduled for December 6 in Vienna.
Saad al-Kaabi said the country’s impact on OPEC production will be minimal, as the small Gulf country produces small amounts of crude than other members. According him, Doha will still implement the rules that other non-OPEC oil producers have.
There have been reports that the main reason for the decision was to concentrate on developing its natural gas sector. It is expected to boost its annual LNG output from 77 million to 110 million tons.