Petrol Prices: How Qatar's decision to leave OPEC may affect South Africa

Qatar quits Opec

Qatar's decision to quit Opec will take effect from January 2019

Qatar says it will withdraw from the OPEC group of major oil-producing nations in January.

They also launched an economic boycott, stopping Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing off the small country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocking its ships from using their ports.

It's the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, are expected to agree on a supply cut at this week's meeting in a bid to support crude prices that have slid nearly 30 per cent since October.

"We are not saying we are going to get out of the oil business but it is controlled by an organization managed by a country", said al-Kaabi.

While the move is merely symbolic for Qatar, a founding member quitting OPEC after 57 years can not look positive for the organization, John Hall, chairman of Alfa Energy, a UK-based consulting company said in an interview with RT.

Qatar may be a small producer but the impact of any member leaving OPEC at this time reflects growing feeling of discomfort among members in how decisions are being managed, said another expert. "I assure you this purely was a decision on what's right for Qatar long term".

The decision was "technical and strategic" and had "nothing to do with the blockade", he said.

The cartel's largest member, Saudi Arabia, along with three other countries, has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar for the past 18 months, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and the Saudis' largest regional rival, Iran.

Qatar's decision to leave OPEC has been described as a "surprise" by Ashley Kelty, an oil and gas research analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe.

Once close partners with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on trade and security, Qatar has since struck scores of new trade deals with countries further afield while investing heavily to step up food production and military power.

Qatar refutes the allegations and claims rivals want to overthrow its government. "Its oil production has been steady with limited prospects for increases". Indonesia rejoined the organization in 2016 after an absence of almost eight years. Iran and Saudi Arabia have been bitter regional rivals for many years, backing opposite sides in civil wars in Syria and Yemen, but have still been able to negotiate compromises within the group's Vienna headquarters.

Qatar is a minnow in oil and a giant in natural gas.

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