Qatar’s decision to quit OPEC raises doubts about the future of the oil cartel | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Qatar’s decision to quit OPEC raises doubts about the future of the oil cartel

The decision by the State of Qatar to leave the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by January 2019 has raised eyebrows and set off speculation as to the extent of tensions and discord within the 15-member intergovernmental organisation.

The dominant analysis centres on Qatar’s spat with Saudi Arabia and the Qataris’ desire to abandon an organisation which many feel is overly influenced by the Saudis. Notwithstanding official Qatari denials that their decision to leave OPEC is linked to the Saudi-led embargo, nonetheless the Saudis are likely to interpret the move as a further sign of Qatar’s growing independence in the Arabian Gulf region.

Beyond the immediate political effect, Qatar’s decision raises difficult questions about the future of OPEC. There will be fears in Riyadh about a sudden meltdown, especially in light of speculation that Iraq may be the next country to leave the organisation.

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