Oil-rich Qatar says it will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced on Monday.
The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for about 40 per cent of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the country’s state oil company.
“Qatar announces it was withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC” effective 1 January 2019”.
Qatar announces it was withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC” effective 1 January 2019.
— Qatar Petroleum (@qatarpetroleum) December 3, 2018
Speaking at a news conference in Doha, Al-Kaabi said: “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”
Africa News 24 reports Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries after it joined OPEC in 1961, one year after the organisation’s establishment.