The Economist: Qatar Decides to Leave OPEC

As of January 1, Qatar is no longer a member of OPEC. Qatar, the first Arab state to join OPEC after its creation in 1960, is now the first Arab state to withdraw from the oil cartel. According to Qatar’s Minister of Energy Saas al-Kaabi, the decision was made to “focus efforts” on natural gas production. Although the Gulf nation is the world’s largest exporter of liquified gas, it is a minor player in oil – pumping out 600,000 barrels per day as of December 2018. As an article for the Economist notes, this decision was not about economics and the ongoing Saudi-Qatar rivalry played a role. The increasingly hostile division between the Saudi-Egyptian-UAE bloc and Qatar following a June 2017 trade and travel embargo made the decision to withdraw much easier. OPEC’s relevance continues to decline and Qatar “may hope to accelerate that.” Meanwhile, “the Qataris have played a savvy diplomatic game, winning over skeptical members of the Trump administration with promises to curb terrorist financing and expand al-Udeid, America’s main air base in the region.” –YaleGlobal

The Economist: Qatar Decides to Leave OPEC

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Read the article from the Economist.

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