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Qatar to Leave OPEC as Politics Finally Rupture Oil Cartel

  • Country will leave group effective Jan. 1: Energy Minister
  • Decision comes amid standoff with Saudis, pressure from Trump
Bloomberg business news
Bloomberg’s Stuart Wallace reports on Qatar’s move and its impact on oil markets.(Source: Bloomberg)
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Qatar said it will leave OPEC next month, a rare example of the toxic politics of the Middle East rupturing a group that had held together for decades through war and sanctions.

Qatar, a member since 1961, is leaving to focus on its liquefied natural gas production, Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told a news conference in Doha on Monday. He didn’t mention the political backdrop to the decision: dire relations with Saudi Arabia, which has led a blockade against his country since 2017; and a rhetorical onslaught from U.S. President Donald Trump against the cartel.