Qatar announces Opec exit days before pivotal oil cuts meeting

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But it is one of the world's largest exporters of natural gas, responsible for meeting about a third of global demand.

The tiny, energy-rich Arab nation of Qatar announced on Monday it will withdraw from OPEC in January, meeting its aspirations to increase production outside of the cartel's constraints and slighting the Saudis who are now boycotting Doha. Qatar made the decision after reviewing ways to enhance its role internationally and plan long-term strategy, said Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi. "Our potential is gas". He also said Qatar wants to raise its oil production.

Iran believes that any supply reduction should come from those who pumped more - Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have provided the largest increases - rather than all 25 OPEC and non-OPEC countries involved in the current accord. He denied the move was linked to political tensions between the Gulf State and Saudi Arabia - the de facto leader of OPEC - but insisted it was a choice based on rationality.

OPEC members are scheduled to meet at the organization's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.

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According to a media report, since June 2017, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia - along with three other Arab states - has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and their regional rival, Iran.

Qatar has announced that it will withdraw from the OPEC group of oil-producing nations.

Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy affairs minister, announced that the country would end its 57-year membership in the cartel because it wanted to develop its liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Qatar's decision to leave OPEC has been described as a "surprise" by Cantor Fitzgerald Europe.

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Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose $2.23 to settle at $61.69 a barrel, a 3.75 percent gain.

A Saudi-led coalition implemented a blockade on Qatar in June a year ago, severing diplomatic, trade and transport links based on accusations that stemmed from its funding of extremist groups and relations with Iran.

Nonetheless, US suppliers are continuing to produce record amounts of crude oil, contributing to global oversupply and suggesting that any further bounce in the crude price will likely be limited. The four nations have also pointed to Qatar's close relationship with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore gas field. In the year to September 2018, the USA only imported an average of 543,000 barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products.

Markets were also buoyed by Canada's oil-rich province of Alberta deciding to cut production by 8.7 percent to support prices.

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