Qatar could give Saudi more headache after leaving OPEC: Bloomberg
Qatar’s surprise decision to leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) might be just a taste of things to come, as some analysts suggest the tiny Persian Gulf country plans to irritate Saudi Arabia even more by leaving the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC).
Qatar waited until Monday to announce its departure from OPEC, a move that guaranteed maximum effect ahead of the organization’s meeting this week in Vienna.
Describing OPEC as a "powerful cartel with a real impact on world affairs," Ghosh argues that as the group's only 11th biggest oil producer with little influence in the decision making process, Qatar stands to lose almost nothing by quitting.
It's a different story with the PGCC, "an ineffectual grouping that has little impact on regional affairs," Ghosh says.
"If Qatar were to pull out, it would reinforce the Saudi-Emirati claim that the ruling family in Doha is undermining the Arab consensus," he writes. "Staying in the alliance allows Qatar to signal that it is committed to regional cooperation, putting the onus for ending the blockade on the Saudis and Emiratis."
There is also the possibility that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will try to kick Qatar out of the Council, in which case it will be in Doha's best interest to beat them to the punch by leaving voluntarily.
The decision might have an impact on Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, the other three PGCC members. While Bahrain tends to follow Saudi Arabia's lead in most issues, Kuwait and Oman have had a history of speaking up against "Saudi bullying."
On its way out, Qatar might have a chance to convince Oman and Kuwait to drop out as well, specially since both countries have remained neutral on the blockade.