Doha, Dec 3: "Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019," Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi announced on Monday in Doha.
"We don't have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic. Our potential is gas." Kaabi added.
Qatar leaves OPEC next month in order for the Gulf state to focus on gas production.
The organization is dominated by oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which since June 2017 has led a bloc of countries in imposing a blockade on Qatar.
He added that Qatar would still continue to produce oil but would concentrate on gas production, where it is the biggest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world.
What is OPEC?
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Many countries joined in an interval of time.
OPEC's objective is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.
Since 1965 OPEC has its headquartered in Vienna, Austria. As of September 2018, the 15 countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 81.5 percent of the world's "proven" oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices