Qatar to withdraw from OPEC as of January 2019, minister says

  • Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi told a news conference Monday that the country would withdraw from OPEC on January 1, 2019.
  • The country’s energy minister said the move represents a “technical and strategic” change, Reuters reported, and was not publicly motivated.

The OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) logo
announced plans to pull out of  on Monday, just days before a crucial meeting between the influential oil cartel and its allies.
Speaking at a news conference, Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said the country would withdraw from OPEC on January 1, 2019, ending a membership which has stood for more than half-a-century.
The decision comes after Qatar reviewed ways in which it could improve its global standing and plan its long-term strategy.
The country’s energy minister said Monday that the move represents a “technical and strategic” change, Reuters reported, and was not politically motivated.
OPEC and non-OPEC members are due to meet in Vienna, Austria on Thursday, with the aim of reaching an accord over possible output cuts.
The Middle East-dominated group’s final meeting of the calendar year is now expected to be Qatar’s last as an official member of OPEC. It has been a member since 1961.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $62.25 a barrel at around 6:40 a.m. London time, up around 4.7 percent, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $53.53, more than 5 percent higher.

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