On Monday, Saad al-Kaabi, the Energy Minister of Qatar announced that Qatar will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019. Here’s why.

The tiny Gulf nation of Qatar that was caught up in fierce controversies with other Arab nations, is one of the smallest producer of oil and fossil fuels in the OPEC; but is also the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Qatar has been part of the organisation for 57 years and today, the Qatar officials announced that the country will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019. While making the announcement, Saad al-Kaabi said that tough the decision was to make, but it will hardly affect the OPEC and it’s functioning.

The main motto behind quitting the OPEC is to focus on developing strategies to enhance Qatar’s role internationally and plan long-term strategies. One of these major strategies will be focus its efforts on developing its liquified natural gas industry, as it has boomed from 77 million to 110 million tonnes annually. So after withdrawal from the organisation, Qatar will put all its efforts, resources and time to administer the booming LNG industry. However, Saad al-Kaabi promised that Doha will continue to “abide by all its commitments like any other non-OPEC oil producer” even after withdrawal.

Despite the decision to quit, Qatar delegation will attend the group’s meeting on Thursday and Friday this week. Also Qatar’s decision to quit OPEC comes right before OPEC meeting with its allies like Russia in next week, where they are likely to discuss the possibility of cuts in fuel prices. But the de facto administrative officials of Qatar have maintained saying that, the withdrawal is not linked with the political or economic boycott imposed on the country since June last year, and it is just for their better growth.