OREANDA-NEWS Qatar's energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi announced that the country had notified the Organization of petroleum exporting countries of its withdrawal. It is reported by al Jazeera. The Minister announced this at a press conference in the capital of Qatar Doha.

"The decision to withdraw [from OPEC] reflects Qatar's desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons in the coming years," the Minister said.

Information about the output was confirmed by the state Qatar company Qatar Petroleum. The country will cease to be a member of the cartel from January 1, 2019.

Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision to withdraw from the cartel is not related to the blockade of Qatar by OPEC countries Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and not included in OPEC Egypt and Bahrain. The announcement of withdrawal was made a few days before the OPEC meeting, which is scheduled for December 6.

The share of Qatar in total oil production by OPEC countries amounted to 1.85% in 2017, the country produces about 600 thousand barrels of oil daily, while the total oil production by the cartel countries exceeds 32 million barrels per day.

The organization of petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) is an international intergovernmental Association established by oil-producing States to control production quotas.

The organization of petroleum exporting countries was established in 1960 and includes Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Qatar joined the organization in 1961.

OPEC includes Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela. Members of the organization control about two thirds of the world's oil reserves, accounting for up to 45% of global production and half of exports. Russia is an observer.