Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries: Qatar to withdraw from OPEC in January 2019
Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced that the country will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019. This decision to quit OPEC was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company. Al-Kaabi said the withdrawal was purely a business decision. Doha is one of the smallest oil producers in the bloc. Since 2013, the oil production in Qatar has steadily declined from 728000 barrels per day in 2013 to about 607000 barrels per day in 2017, which is just under 2 percent of OPEC’s total production. The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”The move came just days ahead of the OPEC meeting that is scheduled to take place on December 6, 2018.
- Qatar’s pure strength is the production of Gas. Qatar is the world’s biggest supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), producing almost 30 percent of the world total.
- Qatar also shares the world’s largest known natural gas field, the ‘North Field’ with Iran.
- The country plans to increase the supply of natural gas by developing a future strategy based on growth and expansion, both in its activities at home and abroad.I
- It requires focused efforts, commitment, and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar’s position as the leading natural gas producer.
- In September 2018, Qatar announced to increase its production of natural gas by adding a fourth production line to raise capacity from the North Field to 110 million tonnes a year.
- Most of Qatar’s annual LNG supplies, almost 80 million tonnes, are shipped in tankers to different countries, including the UAE, one of the countries imposing the blockade on Qatar.
- Of OPEC’s 15 members, Qatar ranks 11th in oil production and is the fifth smallest producer after Ecuador, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
- Qatar’s withdrawal from the bloc would have a limited impact on oil prices and markets as the major countries are maintaining the demand and supply stability.