Ques­tions for Opec af­ter Qatar with­draws from oil car­tel

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY JON GAM­BRELL

THE tiny, en­ergy-rich Arab na­tion of Qatar has an­nounced it will with­draw from Opec.

The move blends the coun­try’s as­pi­ra­tions to in­crease pro­duc­tion out­side of the Vi­enna-based car­tel’s con­straints with the pol­i­tics of slight­ing the Saudi-dom­i­nated group amid the king­dom’s boy­cott of Doha.

The sur­prise an­nounce­ment from Qatar’s min­is­ter of state for en­ergy af­fairs, Saad Sherida al-kaabi, again throws into ques­tion the role of the car­tel af­ter it called for non-mem­bers to push for a pro­duc­tion cut in 2016 af­ter prices crashed be­low $30 a bar­rel.

It is also the first time a Mid­dle East na­tion has left the car­tel since it was founded in 1960.

In a state­ment, Mr al-kaabi said Qatar, the world’s largest ex­porter of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, planned to in­crease its ex­ports from 77 mil­lion tonnes of gas per year to 110 mil­lion tonnes.

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