Qatar to quit OPEC oil group to focus on gas exports

US-China trade truce gives global stocks and oil a big lift

While Qatar has attributed the decision, effective January 1, to its plans to increase natural-gas production, it's clear that its diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia isn't abating.

Qatar has pulled out of Opec, the group of 15 of the world's leading oil producers, to focus on enlarging its gas industry. But losing a long-standing member undermines a bid to show a united front before a meeting that is expected to back a supply cut to shore up crude prices that have lost nearly 30 percent since an October peak.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatari energy minister, announced the decision in a press conference on Monday.

"For me 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 ...

Our potential is gas", al-Kaabi said.

The Opec is estimated to now account for almost half of the global oil production and so has a major say in oil prices.

Ohio Senators speak up in wake of GM plant closings
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not elaborate as to what cuts could be enacted. The threat of auto tariffs continues to loom large over the vehicle manufacturing sector.

Qatar is the 11th-biggest oil producer in OPEC, pumping 610,000 barrels a day in October, less than 2 per cent of the group total 33.3 million. "They debated 'what does the withdrawal mean to OPEC and global energy market and to Qatar?", market sources told The Peninsula.

Qatar would continue to produce oil and seek deals in countries including Latin America's top oil producer Brazil, said Kaabi.

The tense relationship between Qatar and its big brothers - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - had come unstuck back in June 2017 when Doha came under an unprecedented blockade orchestrated by Riyadh. They also launched an economic boycott, stopping Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing the country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocking its ships from using their ports. In the year to September 2018, the US only imported an average of 543,000 barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products.

Benchmark Brent crude for instance reached over $85 USA a barrel in early October, only to drop sharply in the time since. However, Qatar has denied all the claims.

Kaabi meanwhile announced Qatar would "make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon", adding Doha would also build the Middle East's biggest ethane cracker, an industrial facility which converts gas to by-products, such as adhesives and ethylene for plastics. Iran and Saudi Arabia have been bitter regional rivals for many years, backing opposite sides in civil wars in Syria and Yemen, but have still been able to negotiate compromises within the group's Vienna headquarters. Qatar produces about 600,000 bpd, which ranks it among the smaller OPEC producers.

Related:

  • Former US president George HW Bush dies aged 94

    Former US president George HW Bush dies aged 94

    George H.W. served as vice president to Ronald Reagan from 1981-1989, before becoming president and holding office from 1990-1993. One of the youngest pilots in the Navy, he flew 58 missions off the carrier USS San Jacinto. "We will miss him dearly".
    The new Porsche 911: All you need to know

    The new Porsche 911: All you need to know

    And with all the spy shots of Porsche prototypes running coming out of Europe, expect the Turbo model to follow shortly after. The eighth generation of the Porsche 911 , now 55 years old, was finally revealed in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
    Canada sanctions 17 Saudis linked to Khashoggi killing

    Canada sanctions 17 Saudis linked to Khashoggi killing

    Proponents argue US targeting support and refueling support (which the administration ceased recently) are hostilities. Lawmakers in Washington voted on Wednesday to advance a resolution to end U.S. support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen.
  • NASA's InSight lands on Mars after six-month journey

    NASA's InSight lands on Mars after six-month journey

    InSight will detect geophysical signals deep below the Martian surface, including marsquakes and heat. The NASA InSight has officially landed on Mars after a seven month journey through our galaxy.
    Macron tells Saudi prince worldwide  experts needed in Khashoggi probes

    Macron tells Saudi prince worldwide experts needed in Khashoggi probes

    Riyadh has long sought to distance the crown prince from the incident, despite increasing evidence directly linking him to it. Current US president Donald Trump said Bush had "inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service".
    Border Patrol agent hospitalized after being assaulted by illegal immigrant

    Border Patrol agent hospitalized after being assaulted by illegal immigrant

    One of the other men who illegally crossed into the United States after traveling in the caravan has been deported in the past. Asylum seekers are often released in the US pending the outcome of their cases in immigration court.
  • CNN Fires Marc Lamont Hill After Urging Countries to Boycott Israel

    CNN Fires Marc Lamont Hill After Urging Countries to Boycott Israel

    Hill, a Philadelphia native and a graduate of both Temple and the University of Pennsylvania, was speaking at the U.N. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday.
    Michael Clarke hits out over ball tampering blame claim

    Michael Clarke hits out over ball tampering blame claim

    R Ashwin concedes that the conditions in Australia will be very different and that it will be hard to run through the opposition. We play our best cricket when you're fighting. "I thought the ball came out pretty well (off my hand)".
    Chiefs' Kareem Hunt sent home after assault video release

    Chiefs' Kareem Hunt sent home after assault video release

    The police report said Ottinger suffered abrasions to her knee and hand and a scratch on her chest. Neither the team nor the National Football League took no action against Hunt after the incident.
  • Liverpool Boss Could Be Banned For His Comments

    Liverpool Boss Could Be Banned For His Comments

    We fixed that, kind of, and it always happens that the first step is it costs you a bit of fluency and creativity. In some games, we played not-that-nice football and didn't get a result, but nobody remembers it".
    Kid Rock booted from leading parade after profane TV remarks

    Kid Rock booted from leading parade after profane TV remarks

    Steve Smith's attorney said there will not be a lawsuit if Rock is reinstated, but he said Rock will be at the parade tomorrow. Kid Rock , a brash Detroit-area musician whose real name is Robert Ritchie, for a while teased a Republican run for the U.S.
    Putin and Saudi crown prince are best of buds at G20 summit

    Putin and Saudi crown prince are best of buds at G20 summit

    Prince Muhammad met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of a G20 summit . With such a keen focus on the US President's trade policies, Mr Trump started the summit with what he certainly considers a win.

Comments

Latest news

Ramsey contract situation 'closed', says Arsenal boss Emery
On the other hand, Mesut Ozil missed the sensational victory as he was dropped from the team due to some fitness issues. When asked whether Ozil had attended the game, he added: "I don't know".

Saudi prince starts Sunday a two-day visit to Algeria
Khashoggi was living in exile in the U.S. at the time of his murder, but had been growing in his criticism of the crown prince. 'I will not be surprised that the oppression will reach even those who are cheering him, then others and others and so on.

Captain Marvel's Cosmic New Poster Arrives Ahead Of Fresh Trailer
The first Captain Marvel trailer dropped a few weeks ago, showing us glimpses of that 90s world without spoiling anything. CAPTAIN MARVEL brings us back in time to the 1990s before all of the events we have seen in the MCU.

Toronto Raptors Kawhi Leonard's New Balance deal sparks tweetstorm
New Balance isn't exactly known for stylish kicks, but the company is looking to re-establish itself in the basketball market. It is unclear if he will have a signature shoe, but he will be the highest-profile player New Balance has on its roster.

May not ruling out second MPs' vote BBC Online
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accepted Theresa May's challenge of a TV Brexit debate on the BBC - but only if it is the two leaders head-to-head.

Ariana Grande: Five things to know about Thank U, Next
Legally Blonde's Jennifer Coolidge - portrayed as Paulette Bonaforte - was also seen giving sound advises in the song. Jonathan Bennett , who played Aaron Samuels and Stefanie Drummond , who played Bethany Byrd, both made cameos.

Argentina judge acts on complaint against Saudi prince
In the briefing, Pompeo argued that the war in Yemen would be "a hell of a lot worse" if the United States were not involved. Chris Murphy of CT , a supporter, said he was more confident about the resolution vote after the briefing.

Ukraine bans Russian men from entering the country
In response to Sunday's events, Poroshenko has imposed martial law in much of the country, a move that won parliamentary backing. The EU first slapped sanctions on Russian Federation after it annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kyiv in 2014.

Oil tumbles below $50 first time in year on Russian Federation output stance
But oil trade, vital for Russian economy, is conducted in USA dollars, a "monopoly" Russia's President Vladimir Putin wants to end.

Cameroon stripped of 2019 African Cup of Nations in June
This will be the second time in recent memory that CAF has stripped a country of hosting rights of a continental tournament. Africa's governing body of football made the decision Friday after a meeting of its executive committee.

Did LeBron James Just Reveal Where His Son Will Play College Basketball?
The result ensures they stay top of the Western Conference after a good start to the season. We did some good things, and we didn't do some good things".

US, China Tensions Cast Shadow As World Leaders Meet In Argentina
The presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit also raised an awkward dilemma for leaders. However, Mrs Merkel's own arrival at the summit has been delayed by a technical fault in her plane.

Ivanka Trump Defends Using Private Email Account For Government Work
It's not the first time Ivanka has found herself embroiled in controversy since taking on a role as a White House aide in her father's administration.

Nintendo Switch Cyber Monday: Buy a console, get $35 eShop cash free
In total, Nintendo generated over $250 million in the United States alone during the five day holiday period. Switch hardware sales grew 115 percent compared to the same period in 2017, presumably in the USA only.

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins Mississippi US Senate runoff amid racial controversies
Working with the state Democratic Party, the campaign sent millions of text messages reminding potential supporters to vote. She at first refused to apologize , and only at last week's debate did she offer a conditional apology "to anyone offended".

Other news