Qatar to withdraw from OPEC
This will not change the organisation's plans to cut production in 2019
Qatar will leave the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as of January 1, 2019, after 57 years in the organisation, the country's Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi announced.
“The news should not come as a huge surprise," Lynn Morris-Akinyemi, research analyst, MENA upstream, at Wood Mackenzie, said. "Qatar is OPEC’s smallest Middle East oil producer, and the group’s fifth smallest producer overall. Its total 2018 oil production is estimated at 600,000-650,000 barrels per day, less than 2% of OPEC’s oil output.”
Al-Kaabi said the country would focus on increasing natural gas production from 77mn tons per year to 110mn tons in the coming years.
"Qatar has minimal spare capacity so its exit won't affect the volume of oil supply in the market during 2019 or risk OPEC's goal of reducing output next year," said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president, macro oils.
OPEC is due to meet on December 6 to decide on oil production for next year and are widely expected to cut production.