Qatar withdraws from OPEC to focus on gas exports

04 December, 2018, 02:40 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • OPEC headquarters in Vienna Austria

Al-Kaabi said, Qatar also wants to raise its oil production from 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day to 6.5 million barrels. They also launched an economic boycott, stopping Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing off the small country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocking its ships from using their ports. At the same time, they say that short-term sentiment is likely to be positive on any move. Qatar made the decision after reviewing ways to enhance its role internationally and plan long-term strategy, said Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi.

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

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin speak at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

"Now they are asking others to share in the cut". "The two individuals that markets focus on are Saudi Arabia's energy tsar Khalid al-Falih and Russia's Alexander Novak".

Out of OPEC's 15 members, Qatar ranks 11th in production and is the fifth smallest producer after Ecuador, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In 2014, the price of oil hit a high and then plunged after the cartel chose to keep pumping oil despite signs of excess supply in the market.

Oil prices reached a four-year high of more than $80 a barrel a couple of months ago but have now dropped to about $60. It was the long-awaited recovery OPEC was waiting for.

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President Donald Trump repeatedly has criticized both OPEC and US ally Saudi Arabia over rising oil prices in recent weeks, demanding a production increase to drive down USA gasoline prices.

Oil prices surged more than 5 percent Monday on prospects for a cut in global output and hope that a ceasefire in the U.S.

According to the report, Qatar's wealth stems from its share in the offshore North Field, discovered in 1971, ranking third behind Russian Federation and Iran, which share in the offshore field.

Saudi Arabia, facing pressure from Washington over the Khashoggi killing and in line with Trump's wishes to keep prices low to keep his voter base happy, ramped up production to cool the market.

Qatar is OPEC's 11th-biggest oil producer, accounting for less than 2 percent of total output, so its departure is most significant for any potential impact on the group's cohesion.

By Walid Ahmed, Dan Murtaugh and Javier Blas Qatar said it will leave OPEC next month in a move that threatens to fracture the group's unity just as it tries to maintain a global coalition to control the oil market.

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