Qatar is withdrawing from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) as of January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister said on Monday.
He added, "Qatar has worked diligently during the past few years to develop a future strategy based on growth and expansion, both in its activities at home and overseas".
Qatar, a country of 2.6 million people where citizens make up over 10 per cent of the population, discovered the offshore North Field in 1971, the same year it became independent.
Oil and natural gas account for a substantial share of the country's gross domestic product, according to Opec.
"For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organisation that we are a very small player in and I don't have a say in what happens. practically it does not work, so for us it's better to focus on our big growth potential", he said.
Oil prices soared on Monday after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia renewed an agreement to cap output, while the USA agreed to halt raising tariffs on Chinese imports, stalling a trade row that many feared could hit demand for the commodity.
Saad al-Kaabi, then-chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, gestures as he speaks to reporters in Doha on July 4, 2017.
Qatar has spend the last year-and-a-half battling attempts by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (both of them are members of the Opec) to isolate it in the Middle East. "I assure you this purely was a decision on what's right for Qatar long term".
Qatar has announced that it will leave OPEC next month. The decision was made after Qatar reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan its long-term strategy, al-Kaabi also said. Doha also plans to build the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.