Qatar announces plan to leave OPEC in January, becoming the first Middle Eastern country to pull out

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Qatar announces plan to leave OPEC in January, becoming the first Middle Eastern country to pull out

Qatar has announced that it will leave OPEC, the oil cartel on January 1 after nearly 60 years of membership.

The country’s state oil company, Qatar Petroleum, made the announcement in a series of tweets. “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the country’s minister of state for energy affairs, was cited as saying in one of the tweets.

OPEC members collectively supply about 44% of the world’s crude oil. The cartel aims to monitor the market and decide to raise or lower oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.

Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961. It said the organization was aware of its decision to withdraw.

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