The small Gulf state of Qatar and one of the members of the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC) on Monday, announced that it is leaving the organisation, due to the overbearing influence of Saudi Arabi on the Organisation, and the need to focus on Gas.
Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, who made the announcement of Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC at a press conference in Doha, said the move is long overdue and OPEC has been informed
Qatar who has been a member of OPEC for 57-years, announced that it will exit the Organisation as early as 1st January 2019, so as to focus on its gas ambitions, as they can no longer be under an Organisation that is being controlled by Saudi Arabia.
This is coming as OPEC members and Non-members are preparing for a meeting to tackle an oil price slide, and although Qatar’s crude accounts for a smaller amount of OPEC’s production, it has the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG).
It is also a sign that Doha is not prepared to end its Diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States/Arab States.
Mr Saad al-Kaabi while speaking on the move to leave OPEC said:
“We are not saying we are going to get out of the oil business but it is controlled by an organization managed by a country.”
The good news though for OPEC is that despite Qatar announcing her exit from the Organisation, Saad Al-Kaabi promised that they will abide by the decision of the Organisation on Thursday-Friday meeting, as their intention to leave has been communicated to OPEC.
On Gas and LNG.
“Qatar has worked diligently during the past few years to develop a future strategy based on growth and expansion, both in its activities at home and abroad”
“The State of Qatar will continue to cherish its global position in the forefront of natural gas producing countries, and as the largest source of clean energy from liquefied natural gas, allowing it to achieve a strong and resilient economy.”
“The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production,
“Qatar is proud in its international standing at the forefront of natural gas producers, and as the biggest exporter of LNG – the cleanest fossil fuel, which has given Qatar a strong and resilient economy.”
“The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons in the coming years.
“Achieving our ambitious growth strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar’s position as the leading natural gas producer.”
“to put efforts and resources and time in an organization that we are a very small player in and I don’t have a say in what happens.”
Qatar’s contribution has been marginal compared to some of the cartel’s biggest producers like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It pumps about 600,000 barrels a day of the almost 25 million barrels a day from all OPEC members. Saudi Arabia pumps 11million barrels per day, as we wait to see what happens on Thursday and Friday when OPEC members meet.