Qatar will quit Opec from next year, a group that it has been a part of since 1961, the country’s energy minister said on Monday. Saad al-Kaabi told reporters the decision to leave the cartel of big oil exporting countries came after Qatar had reviewed the ways it could enhance its role abroad while shifting the focus of the country towards gas.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership form Opec effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to Opec this morning,” he said.
The move comes amid a deteriorating political situation between Qatar and its neighbours. Four Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — have imposed a trade and travel embargo on the country since June last year over allegations that Qatar supports terrorism.