Qatar said on Monday it will leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on January 1, 2019, Reuters reported. Qatar made the decision after reviewing ways to enhance its role internationally and plan long-term strategy, said Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi.

Al-Kaabi said the country “does not have great potential in oil, we are very realistic”, AFP reported. “Our potential is gas,” he said. Qatar is the world’s biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas.

Qatar, the smallest member nation of OPEC, had joined the group in 1961. The OPEC is a group of 15 oil-exporting nations, several of them in the Arab world, that virtually control the global prices of crude oil by regulating their supplies. These countries account for almost half of the world’s oil production.

Qatar’s relations with Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the group, have been tense in recent years. Saudi Arabia and some other nations in the Arab region had decided to cut diplomatic ties with the country in 2017. However, al-Kaabi said the decision to leave OPEC was not related to the blockade, reported Al Jazeera.

A meeting of OPEC is due to start on Thursday in Vienna. A drop in global prices of crude oil since October is expected to put pressure on the member nations to agree to curbing production during the meeting.