Qatar has announced that it is withdrawing from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The country’s state oil company said the decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for about 40 percent of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum.
Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi speaking at a news conference in Doha said: “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”
Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries. Qatar joined OPEC in 1961, one year after the organisation’s establishment.
Earlier this week, OPEC and Russia, who together produce about 40 percent of the world’s oil, said they agreed on new oil production cuts to ensure the oil price does not drop too much in the coming months.