Qatar pulls out of Opec to focus on gas production

OPEC has problems reasons for Qatar's exit must be examined Iran oil minister

OPEC has problems reasons for Qatar's exit must be examined Iran oil minister  04 Dec 2018- 19:32 Bijan Zanganeh

Following a drop in oil prices in autumn, members of the 15-country bloc, which was founded in 1960, were about to cut production, as Brent crude slumped to $60 a barrel from $86 in October.

Qatar is the world's largest LNG exporter and al-Kaabi says the country wants to increase its output from 77 million standard cubic feet daily to 110 million scuf.

Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi on Monday announced his country will leave the OPEC next month in order for the Gulf state to focus on gas production.

Anas Alhajji, an oil analyst, said Qatar's decision "has no impact on the market either way whether they're in or they're out". The Peninsula enquiries revealed that energy-sensitive firms and other audit firms also held similar internal meetings, soon after Qatar announced its decision to end its 57-year long membership with OPEC.

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Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 a year ago, after officially accusing it of "sponsoring terrorism".

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdel-Latif Zayyani is to visit Qatar to hand over the invitation of Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz to Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad to attend the GCC summit in the Kingdom this month.

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".

Qatar Petroleum, the country's state oil company, confirmed the news on Twitter.

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.

Add in natural gas, supplied to its neighbours by pipeline and globally as LNG, and the nation's output rises to 4.8 million barrels a day, with plans to expand that to 6.5 million, according to Al-Kaabi.

Qatar produces only some 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day, making it OPEC's 11th biggest producer.

"We will make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon", he said.

The decision was "technical and strategic" and had "nothing to do with the blockade", he said.

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