Qatar’s national oil company Qatar Petroleum on Monday announced that the small oil producing country will leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next year.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019,” Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said.
He said that Qatar was focusing on increasing its gas production, as it is the biggest natural gas exporter globally, aiming to ramp up liquefied natural gas production to 110 million tons a year.
The minister stated that the country would continue to produce oil, adding that its contribution to OPEC was small. Qatar pumps 600,000 barrels a day, compared to Saudi Arabia, which produces 11 million barrels a day.
Qatar, which has been part of OPEC for 57 years, will still take part in the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.