Qatar to leave OPEC group in January 2019

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Minister of State for Energy Affairs, HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi announced Qatar's withdrawal from OPEC at a press conference in Doha and said the organization was informed.

Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Kaabi said that OPEC, which Qatar joined in 1961, was told of the decision on Monday ahead of the announcement.

Qatari is one of the cartel's smallest oil producers, but is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Now Qatar will be able to produce at whatever level it wants, she said, "but I wouldn't see it as a threat to Opec's efforts to cut their production because [Qatar] is not capable on its own of flooding the market".

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That meeting is expected to set a policy for 2019 and despite Qatar's announcement, oil prices soared on Monday after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia renewed a pact to cap output. It is expected to boost its annual LNG output from 77 million to 110 million tons.

Oil prices surged about 5 per cent on Monday after the United States and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war, but Brent crude is still trading at around $62 a barrel, well below October's peak of more than $86.

Mr Al Kaabi said Qatar's decision to withdraw from Opec is not related to the boycott, referring to actions by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE to cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of seeking closer ties with Iran and supporting extremism in the region, which has been in place since previous year.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain started boycotting Qatar past year, accusing Doha of funding militants across the Middle East and fostering ties with Iran, charges that Qatar denies.

OPEC is dominated by oil-rich Saudi, which along with its allies has had no ties with Qatar since June 2017. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty. "We will make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon", he said.

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