Doha, 03 Dec. 2018
The State of Qatar announced today that it was withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC” effective 1 January 2019.
Sa’ad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, made the announcement today during a press conference in Doha, and said the State of Qatar has informed the organization of its decision.
Al-Kaabi noted that the decision to withdraw from OPEC reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons in the coming years. He also noted Qatar Petroleum’s plans to raise its production capability from 4.8 million barrels oil equivalent per day to 6.5 million barrels during the next decade, as well as Qatar’s plans to build the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.
He said “Qatar has worked diligently during the past few years to develop a future strategy in the Oil & Gas sector based on growth and expansion, both in its activities in Qatar and internationally. This strategy has driven the expansion of our international upstream footprint to reach countries like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Cyprus, Congo, South Africa, and the Sultanate of Oman … to mention a few. Moreover, in the next few months we will be announcing several major international partnerships. Our objective in this strategy was to remain focused on our core business and activities in Qatar, and to enhance Qatar’s international standing as the world’s leading natural gas producer.”
The Minister of State for Energy Affairs continued his remarks by saying: “In light of such efforts and plans, and 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 international energy scene. We also sought ways to enhance that role and those contributions in a manner that helps achieve our strategy and objectives in the long term.
It has become clear to us that achieving our ambitious strategy will undoubtedly require focused efforts, commitment, and dedication to maintain and strengthen Qatar’s position as the leading LNG producer.”
“Therefore, based on that requirement, as well as the size of our oil production the State of Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) effective the first of January 2019. This decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” AlKaabi added.
He stressed Qatar’s pride in its international standing at the forefront of natural gas producers, and as the biggest exporter of LNG – the cleanest fossil fuel, which has given Qatar a strong and resilient economy.
He also thanked OPEC for all its efforts.