Qatar to quit OPEC in 2019: energy minister

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Qatar is withdrawing from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) as of January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister said on Monday. The boycotters accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia.

Doha, one of OPEC's smallest oil producers but the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, is embroiled in a protracted diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states.

"In our pursuit to strengthen Qatar's position as a reliable and trustworthy energy supplier across the globe, we had to take steps to review Qatar's role and contributions on the global energy scene, ' Al-Kaabi said in a statement".

The decision is reportedly connected to Qatar's plans to concentrate on developing its natural gas sector.

The minister said that Qatar has been in OPEC for 57 years, but that the country's impact on OPEC production decisions was small.

Opec members are widely expected to cut production, after seeing oil price tumble this autumn.

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. Oil prices surged on Monday after the USA and China agreed a 90-day truce in their trade war at a weekend meeting of the G20 nations in Argentina.

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel
Oil shock: Qatar pulls out of OPEC

Stocks in the oil and gas sector advanced Monday as crude oil prices rose.

The Opec is a 15-nation strong organisation of countries that have rich oil reserves.

U.S. light crude oil rose $2.92 a barrel to a high of $53.85, up 5.7%, before easing slightly to around $53.50 by 8.30am GMT.

"The Qataris have brought the biggest weapon out and it only means more instability between the Qatari and Saudi relationship".

The document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.

Oil also received support from an announcement by the Canadian province of Alberta that it would force producers to cut output by 8.7%, or 325,000 barrels per day (bpd), to deal with a pipeline bottleneck that has led to crude building up in storage.

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