Liquified natural gas (LNG)

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Qatar's OPEC exit signals intensifying energy competition beyond oil

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs, speaks during a press conference in the capital Doha on December 3, 2018.
Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi at a press conference in Doha, on December 3, 2018. Photo: Anne Levasseur/AFP via Getty Images

In announcing Monday that it would leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Qatar emphasized an intention to enhance its standing as the world’s leading natural-gas producer and as “a reliable and trustworthy energy supplier across the globe.” The tiny emirate, currently under a Saudi-led blockade, plans to increase its annual production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 77 million tons to 110 million tons in the coming years.

Why it matters: Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC is a slap in the face of Saudi Arabia, which plays a leadership role inside the organization. It also reflects changes in global energy markets, where the competition among different fuels — coal, oil, nuclear, renewables and natural gas — is intensifying as major economies seek to decarbonize.

Shell reports $5.6 billion in Q3 profits

Shell
Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Shell's profit surged to $5.6 billion in the third quarter, up from $4.1 billion in the same period last year, the oil-and-gas giant announced today.

Why it matters: The haul is the latest sign of how the rise in crude oil prices is boosting the fortunes of the industry, although Shell didn't hit analysts' forecasts.

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