Qatar to pull out of OPEC and focus on natural gas

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Qatar has pulled out of Opec, the group of 15 of the world's leading oil producers, to focus on enlarging its gas industry.

The tiny, energy-rich Arab nation of Qatar announced on Monday it will withdraw from OPEC in January, meeting its aspirations to increase production outside of the cartel's constraints and slighting the Saudis who are now boycotting Doha.

Announcing the decision this morning, Saad al-Kaabi, the Qatari energy minister, said: "We don't have great potential [in oil], we are very realistic".

Qatar, which has been a member of OPEC for 57 years, will still attend the organization's meeting on Thursday and Friday of this week, and will abide by its commitments, he said.

Mr al-Kaabi said Qatar was planning to ramp up its LNG operations as demand grows thanks to its less harmful environmental impact when compared to oil.

Qatar's decision to quit OPEC shows the frustration of small producers at the dominant role of a Saudi and Russia-led panel, Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters, adding that any supply cuts should come only from countries that had increased output. The surprise announcement comes just days ahead of a pivotal meeting, as OPEC members and allies weigh joint production cuts to stabilize a market that suffered its worst month in more than a decade.

OPEC members, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and fellow Arab states Bahrain and Egypt, have imposed a political and economic boycott on Qatar since June 2017.

Founding Nations Qatar was the first country to join OPEC after the five founding nations - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela - formed the group in 1960.

Lincolnshire residents urged to show support on World Aids Day
It comes after Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle announced that he is HIV positive during an emotional speech in the House of Commons. Speaking during an adjournment debate on HIV, he said: "Next year it will be 10 years since I became HIV-positive".

Qatar has been an OPEC member since 1961.

Crude oil has not been included in the list of products facing import tariffs, but traders said the positive sentiment of the truce was also driving crude markets.

Its biggest contributor, Saudi Arabia, now extracts 11 million per day. Once muscular enough to grind America to a halt with its 1970s oil embargo, OPEC needed non-members like Russian Federation to push through a production cut in 2016 after prices crashed below $30 a barrel.

Global standard Brent crude was up 4.7 per cent to $62.42 a barrel this morning United Kingdom time.

They are accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism.

Norbert Rücker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer, said: "From Argentina to Alberta, the oil market news is about supply curtailments".

In another report by Legit.ng, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday, November 26, said Nigeria lost its most valued crude oil buyers, even as its erstwhile gas customers were now competing with it.

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