Qatar quits OPEC after decades-long membership

admin   •   January 2, 2019   •   4520



Doha, Qatar | Reuters

Qatar’s withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) took effect on Tuesday, ending its nearly 60-year membership in the cartel.

Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi announced the withdrawal decision in December. OPEC responded that they respected Qatar’s decision.

It is the first time that a Middle East nation has left the organization since its founding in 1960. Qatar produces only some 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day, making it the 11th biggest producer in the 15-nation cartel.

Since Qatar’s oil output is not high, it will not affect the global oil prices if Qatar leaves the organization, al-Kaabi said while announcing the decision in December.

Doha is a leading producer for liquefied natural gas (LNG), with annual output of 77 million tons. The Qatar energy minister said Doha plans to increase its output to 110 million tons by 2024, while phasing out its oil production. — Reuters

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DOE asks Congress to amend Oil Deregulation Law

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2021

The Department of Energy (DOE) has called on Congress to amend provisions in the Oil Deregulation Law to allow the government to address oil price hikes amid high global demand and tight supply.

In a letter addressed to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo, the DOE asked Congress to amend the law “to provide a framework for the government to intervene in the sudden, prolonged oil price spikes, including the unbundling of the cost of petroleum retail products to determine their true and passed-on costs.”

Gatchalian chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, while Arroyo heads the counterpart panel in the House of Representatives.

The DOE cited several reasons for the prolonged oil price spike amid continuing rise in world market prices resulting from the sudden global increase in demand and an unanticipated lack of supply.

It said that the demand, which is estimated at 103.22 million barrels a day (as of October 16, 2021 vs. a supply of 100.32 million barrels/day) is attributed to the following:

  • the surge of economic activities due to the containment of COVID-19 as a result of measures adopted and implemented worldwide (i.e. mass vaccination, control of the Delta and other variants, Europe’s “no-lockdown” policy, and China’s economic boost). This led to a sudden demand in energy utilization, including the demand on oil products in the transportation sector like gasoline and diesel;


  • the stocking of petroleum products’ inventories as winter approaches to cover demand from October this year to March of next year, with stocking expected until February 2021;


  • slowed production due to the current global direction of sourcing energy from low-carbon emitting sources. This has limited the optimum level of production, causing the halt and event withdrawal of investments in the development and expansion of the fossil fuel industry;


  • International sanctions to oil-producing countries like Iran and Venezuela that stopped the drilling of oil companies and the buying of oil products from these countries;


  • Hurricane Ida a category 4 storm that hit the US gulf coast on August 29 had caused an estimated loss of US crude oil production by as much as 30 million barrels.


Before the pandemic, the latest recorded total worldwide supply was, more or less, 104 barrels a day.

To cope-up with the supply, the DOE said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) committed to increase the production and supply of crude oil by 400,000 barrels/day.

The OPEC will meet on November 4 to discuss and reassess the situation.

The DOE said the Philippines utilizes the equivalent of 425,000 barrels/day, which is around 0.4% of the world supply.

The department assured it has met with the oil industry stakeholders to ensure supply while the problem persists, and asked if discounts could be extended to the public, especially to the public transport sector.

“Supply was assured and some companies (e.g. Jetti, Seaoil, Shell, Phoenix, Unioil) agreed to extend discounts to the public transport industry on top of existing discounts currently given like vaccination and loyalty incentives,” it added.

The DOE said it required the unbundling of the cost of retail products to determine their true and passed-on cost.

It maintained that the unbundling of oil prices would result in greater market transparency by establishing the trends in the prices of oil and finished petroleum products.

This, in turn, would help ensure a level playing field within the oil industry, while upholding the best interests of consumers, the DOE said.


DOE tells oil firms to comply with inventory requirements amid price hikes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday directed oil companies to ensure they have enough supply amid rising fuel prices.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi reminded oil firms to make sure they comply with the Minimum Inventory Requirements (MIR) amid the global oil supply outlook for the fourth quarter of the year.

“I am directing all oil companies in the country to ensure adequate supply, and come up with plans to mitigate possible price hikes of oil products in the coming months,” he said.

Citing Department Circular No. 2003-01-001, the DOE said that all oil companies and bulk suppliers are required to maintain a minimum inventory equivalent to 15-days worth of petroleum products’ supply, except for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) which has a minimum inventory at 7 days.

Refiners, meanwhile, are required to maintain MIR equivalent to 30-days worth of supply, consisting of petroleum crude oil and refined petroleum products.

The DOE said that the latest global oil market developments are responsible for looming oil price increases.

It also said that aggressive demand in the fourth quarter is seen to reach as much as 103 million barrels of crude oil per day (mbpd), when supply is currently only at about 103.22 mbpd.

The department also noted the absence of any additional supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“From August to December 2021, OPEC will only be enforcing a 400,000 barrel-increase per month, which is, however, expected to even out the supply-demand balance by the end of 2021,” it added.

The DOE also noted geopolitical events that may continue to affect supply while demand is seen to pick up by the fourth quarter of 2021 due to increased economic activity as first world countries continue to post high vaccination rates.

“The DOE will continue to closely monitor global oil supply and price movements,” Cusi said.


Philippines added to Qatar’s list of ‘special risk’ COVID-19 countries

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2021

Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health has listed the Philippines among countries under the “special risk” category in the Arab state’s COVID-19 travel list.

The list was posted on Qatar’s official agency websites – the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar (MOPH) and its primary health care provider Hamad Medical Corporation.

The Philippines is among six countries which Qatar labeled with special risk in terms of threat of COVID-19 infection along with the following:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

According to Qatar’s travel policy, travelers from these countries are required to follow additional rules:

– Those vaccinated/recovering from COVID-19 in the State of Qatar are subject to a two-day hotel quarantine and are allowed to leave the hotel on the second day if the result of the PCR test is negative.

– The rest of the people are subject to a hotel quarantine for a period of 10 days.​

Meanwhile, passengers coming from countries in other categories will have to pre-register in the State’s Ehteraz website ( for other arrival requirements.

Generally, Qatar classifies COVID-19 risks into three levels – green, yellow and red.

The Arab state added a category for countries flagged as “Special Risk Six-Country Zone” which includes the Philippines.

“The Ministry of Public Health would like to remind everyone to follow the official website of the Ministry for details of the travel lists of Countries Based on Categorization of COVID-19 Risk,” the HMC reminded.



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