Qatar to withdraw from Opec in January 2019

Doha, Dec 3: Qatar said on Monday it was quitting Opec from January 2019 but would attend the oil exporter group’s meeting this week, saying the decision meant Doha could focus on cementing its position as the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter.
Doha, one of the smallest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries + , is locked in a diplomatic dispute with the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia + but said the move to leave Opec was not driven by politics.
Minister of state for energy affairs Saad al-Kaabi told a news conference that Qatar, which he said been a member of Opec for 57 years, would still attend the group’s meeting on Thursday and Friday this week, and would abide by its commitments.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from Opec effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to Opec this morning,” the minister said.
“For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organisation that we are a very small player in and I don’t have a say in what happens … practically it does not work, so for us it’s better to focus on our big growth potential,” he said. One Opec source told Reuters the decision was more symbolic than anything else. “They are not a big producer, but have played a big part in it’s (Opec) history,” the source said.
Qatar has oil output of only 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with the 11 million bpd produced by Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest oil producer and world’s biggest exporter. But Doha is an influential player in the global LNG market with annual production of 77 million tonnes per year, based on its huge reserves of the fuel in the Gulf.