Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi on Monday announced that Qatar will withdraw from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in January 2019.
Qatar Petroleum while confirming the withdrawal, tweeted, “Qatar announces it was withdrawing from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries effective 1 January 2019.”
Qatar joined the organisation consisting of 15 oil producing countries in 1962.
While addressing a press conference, al-Kaabi stated that the decision was taken as Qatar’s wants to focus its efforts to increase its natural gas production, reported Al Jazeera.
“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,” he added.
The decision comes days before the OPEC meeting which is scheduled to be held on December 6.
OPEC, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, accounted for half of the global oil production and around 80 per cent of the world proven oil reserve.