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Even before taking over Qatar's energy policy in a government reshuffle last month, Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad al-Kaabi had long wanted the Gulf state to leave OPEC. Kaabi was concerned OPEC membership could be a stumbling block for QP's ambitions in the United States, where it has one of the world's biggest LNG terminals, and a distraction as Doha doubles down on gas production, three industry sources said.The sources said Qatar's exit had been in the works for months, driven by Kaabi's desire to focus on Qatar's strength in liquefied national gas rather than OPEC, where Doha has little say anyway because it doesn't produce much oil.While Qatar is one of smallest OPEC producers with output of some 600,000 barrels per day, or 0.6 percent of global demand, it is one of the most influential players in the global gas market thanks to annual production of 77 million tons of liquefied natural gas.GAS'Industry sources said the OPEC exit bore the hallmarks of a CEO who has aggressively streamlined QP since taking the helm in 2014, merging subsidiaries and laying off thousands of employees to refocus on one thing: producing even more gas.The plan to withdraw from OPEC likely started in June when Kaabi attended OPEC talks in Vienna with then Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada, according to the sources.
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