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Qatar To Withdraw From OPEC In January

It wants to focus on increasing its natural gas production.
Posted at 6:48 AM, Dec 03, 2018

Qatar announced plans Monday to withdraw from OPEC — just days before its members are scheduled to meet in Vienna, Austria, for a biannual meeting. 

Qatar's state oil company tweeted that it will leave the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries on January 1. 

Qatar joined OPEC back in 1961. But some of its neighbors — including OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia — cut off Qatar back in June 2017 over its alleged support of terrorism.

But Qatar's minister of state for energy affairs says its leaving OPEC because it wants to focus on increasing its natural gas production. 

An analyst told Reuters Qatar's withdrawal won't have much of a negative effect on OPEC since it's one of the group's smallest oil producers. For example, it reportedly produces just 600,000 barrels a day of crude oil, while OPEC's largest producer Saudi Arabia produces 11 million barrels per day.