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Just IN: Qatar quits OPEC January

Saad al-Kaabi Qatar’s energy minister

Qatar is quitting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country’s energy minister said on Monday.

The decision to withdraw from OPEC came after Qatar reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan its long-term strategy, al-Kaabi told a news conference in Doha.

Qatar, which joined the OPEC in 1961, has frosty relations with two other members, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The small Arab country, touted to be the richest, will not be the first to quit the organisation that has been losing its influence as an oil cartel, since it was founded in September 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Ecuador, which joined in 1973, had suspended its membership twice.

Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it again in January 2016, but decided to suspend its membership once more at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016.

Gabon terminated its membership in January 1995. However, it rejoined the Organization in July 2016.

The five founding countries of the organisation were Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975), Angola (2007), Equatorial Guinea (2017) and Congo (2018).

This means that, currently, the Organisation has a total of 15 Member Countries.

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