Qatar to withdraw from OPEC in January 2019

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Qatar will withdraw from Opec on January 1, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al Kaabi announced on Monday.

"We don't have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic, ' said Kaabi, who described himself as 'Mr Gas" during the conference.

The report added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir agreed on Turkey providing more military supplies to Qatar's military, the integration of Turkish and Qatari security efforts during FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and the building of an worldwide communication and public relations partnership between the two countries, the site said, quoting Turkish sources.

Qatar was the first nation outside of its founding members to join the cartel, entering its ranks in 1961.

The announcement comes ahead of the meeting by Opec and its allies including Russian Federation on Dec 6-7 to discuss cutting supply.

Doha is one of the smallest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The Saudi-led axis accuses Doha of supporting terrorist groups in the region - allegations Qatar strenuously denies. Moreover, OPEC only deals with crude oil, not the liquefied natural gas Qatar is better at producing, and the U.S.is a net exporter of liquefied natural gas anyway.

The decision to withdraw was because of Qatar's plans to increase production, the minister said.

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President Donald Trump repeatedly has criticized both OPEC and American ally Saudi Arabia over rising oil prices in recent weeks, demanding a production hike to drive down USA gasoline prices.

In October, the oil price reached a four-year high of $86, but since then the price has dropped again to about $60 per barrel.

He added that Qatar would still continue to produce oil but would concentrate on gas production, where it is the biggest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world.

It is seeking to raise production from a current 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes by 2024.

The decision was "technical and strategic" and had 'nothing to do with the blockade, ' he said.

"A lot of people will politicize it", Al-Kaabi said.

Qatar is quitting the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting as it plans its long-term strategy.

"We will make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon", he said.

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