According to Reuters, Qatar has announced that it will leave OPEC as of January 2019, but will still be attending the group’s meeting this week.
Reportedly, the country claims that its reason for doing so is so that it can now focus on establishing its place as the world’s number one exporter of LNG.
Reuters reports that although Doha is caught in a dispute with Saudi Arabia – the de facto leader of the group – the nation has claimed that its decision to leave was not caused by politics.
According to Reuters, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi, said: “For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organisation that we are a very small player in and I don’t have a say in what happens… practically it does not work, so for us it’s better to focus on our big growth potential.”
Reportedly, the decision is largely symbolic, as Qatar is not a big producer, but has played a large role in the history of the organisation.
Nevertheless, Doha is a significant player in the LNG market.
Al-Kaabi went on to say that the decision is not political, but was part of the nation’s long-term strategy as it aims to increase its LNG output to 110 million t by 2024.