Qatar will withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Gulf Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced Monday.
The decision to leave the block of 15 oil-producing countries About 40 percent of world oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the country's state-owned oil company.
Qatar announces that it withdrew from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries "OPEC" on 1 January 2019.
– Qatar Petroleum (@ qatarpetroleum) 3 December 2018
At a press conference in al-Kaabi, al-Kaabi said: "D The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar's desire to focus its efforts on development and development increase natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons over the next few years. "
Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the block of oil producing countries.
Al Jazeera correspondent Charlotte Bellis said Qatar made the decision just days before an OPEC meeting on December 6.
"They say it has nothing to do with the Qatar blockade and that they have been thinking about it for a few months now," Bellis said. Recalling a diplomatic blockade in Qatar until Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates ( UAE ), Egypt and Bahrain .
"They also said they wanted to retire OPEC had to be run before the end of the year," she added.
"They said they wanted to do this now and be transparent before an OPEC meeting on December 6."
Qatar joined OPEC in 1961. one year after the foundation of the organization.
Earlier this week, OPEC and Russia, which together produce around 40 percent of world oil, cut oil production to make sure the oil price does not sink too much months.
In October, the oil price reached a four-year high of $ 86, but since then, the price has fallen back to about $ 60 a barrel.
Qatar is the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which accounts for nearly 30 percent of world production.
According to Al Jazeeras Bellis, Al-Kaabi said the declaration was a purely business decision.
"Al-Kaabi said:" We are a small player In OPEC, and I am a businessman, it does not make sense for me to focus on things that are not our strength and gas are our strength, therefore We have made this decision, "said Bellis.
Al-Kaabi added to the decision to increase natural gas supply" is the development of a future strategy based on growth and growth. "Expansion both domestically and abroad."
"Achieving our ambitious growth strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment and commitment to maintain and consolidate Qatar's position as a leading natural gas producer," he added.
Qatar shares the largest natural gas field in the world, the North Field, with Iran.
In September, Qatar announced it would increase its natural gas production through a fourth production line and increase the capacity of the North Field to 110 million tons per year.
The bulk of Qatar's nearly 80 million tonnes of LNG shipments are shipped annually in tankers to various countries.