Qatar says will leave OPEC

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Qatar will withdraw from Opec on January 1, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al Kaabi announced on Monday.

Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Qatar is the world's biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), producing nearly 30 percent of the world's natural gas.

The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for nearly half of the world's oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the country's state oil company.

The withdrawal comes as other non-Opec countries such as Russian Federation have gained more clout alongside Saudi Arabia in setting oil policy.

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OPEC and Russian Federation, who together produce about 40 percent of the world's oil, said earlier this week they agreed on new oil production cuts to ensure oil price does not drop too much in the coming months.

"For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organisation that we are a very small player in and I don't have a say in what happens. practically it does not work, so for us it's better to focus on our big growth potential", he said.

"The nature of the animal as far as Opec is concerned is the bigger production capacity you have then the more weight you carry", Vandana Hari, founder and chief executive of Vanda Insights, told The National.

Doha said it wants to increase LNG production from 77 to 110 million tonnes annually. He clarified that the decision not related to the blockade of Qatar by OPEC countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their non-OPEC allies Egypt and Bahrain. Brent crude oil prices slid to below $60 a barrel last week while U.S. crude fell below $50 a barrel.

Mordecai Ladan, the director, DPR, said the oil and gas industry seemed to be under a new threat, which he described as the renewed dislike and global war against fossil fuels and the quest for renewable and cleaner energy. Doha also plans to build the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.