Qatar announced a withdrawal from OPEC, a Saudi-led organization that said it was unrelated to Qatar’s embargo on diplomacy and economy in June 2017.
Qantas energy minister Saad al-Kaabi said on Dec. 3 that it would withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019 to focus on gas production, according to Reuters.
The decision comes as Qatar is re-evaluating measures to enhance its international role and outline its long-term plan, focusing on the gas sector. Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“Qatar has decided to withdraw from the OPEC since January 2019,” Kaabi said at a press conference in Doha, the capital of Qatar. “We do not have great potential for oil, we are very realistic. Our potential is gas.”
The ministry said OPEC, which joined Qatar in 1961, was informed of the decision on Dec. 3 before it was announced. He said the decision was not easy for Doha, but Qatar did not have a big impact on OPEC’s production decisions.
OPEC is considered dominated by Saudi Arabia, the neighboring Gulf of Thailand with Qatar with enormous oil potential. Saudi led the commercial boycott, which targeted Doha in June 2017, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism.
However, Mr Kaabi said the decision to withdraw from OPEC was not related to tension with Saudi Arabia, but rather to serve to increase LNG production from 77 million tons to 110 tons a year.