Qatar will withdraw from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019, announced Energy Minister of Qatar Saad Sherida al-Kaabi on Monday.
Qatar Petroleum while confirming the withdrawal, tweeted, “Qatar announces it was withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC ” effective 1 January 2019.”
Qatar joined the organisation consisting of 15 oil producing countries in 1962. While addressing a press conference, al-Kaabi stated that the decision was taken as Qatar’s wants to focus its efforts to increase its natural gas production.
“Achieving our ambitious growth strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar ‘s position as the leading natural gas producer,” he added.
The decision comes days before the OPEC meeting which is scheduled to be held on December 6. OPEC, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, accounted for half of the global oil production and around 80 per cent of the world proven oil reserve.