Oil prices to be impacted as Qatar decides to leave Opec

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Qatar's oil production is around 600 000 barrels per day and it is the world's 17th largest producer of crude oil, according to specialist website, world data.info.

The tiny, energy-rich Arab nation of Qatar announced on Monday it will withdraw from OPEC in January, meeting its aspirations to increase production outside of the cartel's constraints and slighting the Saudis who are now boycotting Doha.

In a series of tweets on Monday, the Arab country said the exit is as a result of the decision to focus on gas production.

"The decision to withdraw from OPEC is purely technical and strategic and has nothing to do with political reasons", al-Kaabi said, in reference to a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar.

Qatar is OPEC's 11th biggest oil producer, accounting for less than 2 percent of oil output. Since then, Saudi Arabia has maintained a boycott against Qatar, a country that has sometimes pursued its own foreign policy goals against the will of its fellow Sunni states.

OPEC and Russian Federation announced over the weekend that they had agreed on new cuts in oil production to ensure the commodity's price did not drop too far in the coming months.

In June of a year ago, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain collectively severed ties with Doha and imposed an embargo - by air land and sea - on the Gulf state.

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CNBC reports that the announcement is coming days before a crucial meeting between the influential energy-rich country and its allies.

Asked if Qatar's withdrawal would complicate OPEC's decision this week, a non-Gulf OPEC source said: "Not really, even if it's a regrettable and sad decision from one of our member countries".

Kaabi said, "Qatar has made a decision to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019". "Qatar Petroleum is considering entering into partnerships to produce natural gas in the United States as it may become one of the exporters of liquefied natural gas from the United States through its project Golden Pass", announced the Qatar News Agency. OPEC nations like Ecuador, Gabon and Indonesia have either withdrawn or suspended their membership in the past, only later to rejoin.

Qatar announced it is leaving the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to focus on plans to increase its natural gas. The global oil market is suffering from an oversupply, exacerbated in part by massive USA shale oil production.

Its biggest contributor, Saudi Arabia, now extracts 11 million per day. The four nations have also pointed to Qatar's close relationship with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore gas field.

International Brent crude oil futures were up $2.89 per barrel, or 4.9 per cent, at $62.35 a barrel.

They are accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism. In particular, they say specs were driving up the price of oil ahead of Iran sanctions and covered afterwards.