Oil and gas stocks advance as crude prices rise

Qatar pulls out of Opec oil producers' cartel

Qatar to leave OPEC in 2019, energy minister says

In November, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC and allied oil-producing countries will likely need to cut crude supplies, perhaps by as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day, to rebalance the market.

Qatar's oil production is only around 600,000 bpd, while it is the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

OPEC and Russian Federation announced over the weekend that they had agreed on new cuts in oil production to ensure the commodity's price did not drop too far in the coming months.

Michael Burns, an oil and gas partner at law firm Ashurst, said Qatar's decision to leave OPEC is "a very interesting development".

In April, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar "would fall in less than a week" if it were not for the United States al-Udeid base there. These countries account for nearly half of the world's oil production.

Analysts are expecting OPEC to announce a supply cut of 1-1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) on December 6.

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.

Turkey and Qatar reached agreements on a wide range of issues, including cooperation in the areas of security and military during Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit in Istanbul for the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee meeting last week, the Arab Weekly reported on Friday.

It also shares the world's largest natural gas field, the North Field, with Iran.

Qexit is a surprise, but not a severe blow, after tumultuous change at Opec over the past three years. A Saudi-led coalition implemented a blockade on Qatar in June past year, severing diplomatic, trade and transport links based on accusations that stemmed from its funding of extremist groups and relations with Iran. That's compared to an average of 861,000 per day from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar was the first country to join OPEC after the five founding nations - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela - formed the group in 1960.

OPEC sets production targets for its members in an effort to control the price of oil available on the global market. Its 1.3 million barrels per day of condensate and natural gas liquids, and more than 120 billion cubic metres of gas exports, not covered by Opec, are far more significant. Brent crude oil prices slid to below $60 a barrel last week while U.S. crude fell below $50 a barrel.

Qatar has been locked in a diplomatic dispute with Opec's de facto leader Saudi Arabia for several months.

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