Qatar to pull out of OPEC by next January

The OPEC logo is seen outside the group’s headquarters in Vienna. [Photo: Reuters]

Qatar announced on Monday it would withdraw from OPEC, mixing its aspirations to increase production outside of the cartel’s constraints with the politics of slighting the Saudi-dominated group amid the kingdom’s boycott of Doha.

The surprise announcement from Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, again throws into question the role of the cartel after needing non-members to push through a production cut in 2016 after prices crashed below $30 a barrel.

It also marks the first time a Mideast nation has left the cartel since its founding in 1960.

In a statement, al-Kaabi said Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas, planned to increase its exports from 77 million tons of gas per year to 110 million tons. He also said Qatar wants to raise its oil production from 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day to 6.5 million barrels.

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