Qatar’s reasons for exiting OPEC look muddled. The tiny Persian Gulf sheikhdom says it wants to concentrate on building on its position as the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of being a minor player in an oil cartel dominated by Saudi Arabia. Aside from saving on membership fees, leaving the group has few benefits and many risks. Politics had nothing to do with the decision, which came as a complete surprise to OPEC and its allies, according to Qatar’s new energy minister Saad Al-Kaabi. At a press conference in Vienna on the sidelines of tense talks between the world’s most powerful oil men this week, he said Doha was a small oil producer and it had very little influence over OPEC’s decisions. True, Qatar pumped daily just over 600,000 barrels of crude oil last month out of an ocean of over 33 million b/d produced by OPEC as a whole, according to a survey of output by S&P Global Platts. However, bringing to an end 60 years of membership comes as Doha is isolated by its powerful Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Both regional superpowers are leading an economic and diplomatic blockade after accusing… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center