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>> OPEC has a defector. Qatar says it's quitting the oil producer's cartel after 57 years. Instead, it plans to focus on exports of liquified natural gas, or LNG. The country says there is no politics in the decision, but it's locked in a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, the dominant power in OPEC.
Riyadh leading a boycott of Qatar, saying it supports terrorism, something Doha strongly denies. Now its departure comes days ahead of a crucial OPEC summit in Vienna. Reuters Shadia Nasralla is there.>> It did say that bigger oil producers at OPEC were running the show, and that smaller oil producers had very little say in the organization.
Qatar only produces 600,000 barrels a day, Saudi produces 11 million barrels a day. So without naming Saudi Arabia, there's a heavy implication here.>> Qatar is the world's number one exporter of LNG. It's now planning to ramp up annual shipments even further above the current 77 million tons.
While its exit from OPEC won't rattle oil markets, it is an embarrassment.>> OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia is trying to show a unified front of oil producers. As it tries to introduce a supply cut, oil prices have slumped more than 30% to under $60 a barrel in recent weeks.
So a supply cut would help support oil prices. So any kind of crack in OPEC's facade is obviously not a good sign.>> OPEC did get a helping hand over the weekend though. Moves by China and the US to ease trade tensions helping oil prices to jump around 5% on Monday.