Moscow: On January 1, Qatar will cease to be a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).Nearly a month after it sent an official notification to the cartel expressing its wish to pull out and focus on its liquefied natural gas production, Qatar will finally withdraw its membership from OPEC.

The decision was announced back on December 3. It came between the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade that was imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, among others. They accused Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs, something that Qatar has strongly rebutted.

Doha, however, stressed that its decision to leave the organization was not politically motivated and was actually a technical move.  Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi called the withdrawal a "desire to strengthen the country's position as a reliable global energy supplier and also by Qatari oil production levels."

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