After 57 years, Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC expected to have limited impact

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Qatar announced that it had informed OPEC on Monday of its decision to withdraw from the organization effective from Jan. 2019, with economic observers estimating limited impact on the wider group in the long-run.

After spending 57 years as an OPEC member, Qatar explained its withdrawal the group was due to technical and strategic reasons and not political. Observers have taken this and an expression of how it had weak influence within the organization as one of its smallest producers.

Doha was not able to effectively participate in the reducing or increasing production decisions. Even its absence from participation in the decision process did not have any impact on global supplies.

According to OPEC’s data, Qatar’s production is less than 2 percent of OPEC’s total production, which is estimated at more than 33 million barrels per day. While Qatar’s oil production is estimated at only 600,000 barrel per day.

Out of OPEC’s 15 members, Qatar ranks 11th in production and is the fifth smallest producer after Ecuador, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Qatar’s decision to withdraw would have limited impact on oil prices and markets, with major countries maintaining demand and supply stability. Qatar’s direction might reflect Doha’s increasing isolation in its crisis with its Arab neighbors.

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