NEWS

57 years after, Qatar announces plan to leave OPEC in January, becoming the first Middle Eastern country to pull out

Qatar has announced that it will leave OPEC, the oil cartel on January 1 after nearly 60 years of membership.

The country’s state oil company, Qatar Petroleum, made the announcement in a series of tweets. “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the country’s minister of state for energy affairs, was cited as saying in one of the tweets.

OPEC members collectively supply about 44% of the world’s crude oil. The cartel aims to monitor the market and decide to raise or lower oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.

Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961. It said the organization was aware of its decision to withdraw.

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