Qatar exits OPEC to focus on LNG

Qatar’s decision to become the first Middle East member country to leave OPEC and focus on its core strength of gas exports has stunned the cartel. Qatar’s energy minister Saad Al-Kaabi said Monday that the gas-rich sheikhdom will exit the oil producer group on January 1 after 57 years of membership to concentrate on building its position as the world’s top LNG supplier.

OPEC is scheduled to meet on December 6-7 and potentially agree to cut output to support falling prices. S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts a 1.2 million-1.4 million b/d reduction from October levels.

“This suggests that Qatar may have an agenda to raise production whilst others in OPEC are curbing production, although Qatar’s oil output has been very steady in recent years with limited prospects of increases (given maturing fields),” said Ehsan Khoman, Head of MENA Research and Strategy at MUFG…


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