UPDATE 1-Ecuador to leave OPEC in 2020 due to fiscal problems - ministry

Alexandra Valencia

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QUITO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Ecuador will withdraw from the 14-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from Jan. 1 because of fiscal problems, the country's energy ministry said on Tuesday.

The Andean nation is attempting to increase its production of crude oil in a bid to raise more income and has on multiple occasions not complied with the output quota fixed by OPEC.

"The decision is based on the issues and internal challenges that the country must take on related to fiscal sustainability," the ministry said in a statement, without providing further details.

"This measure is in line with the national government's plan to reduce public spending and generate new income," the statement added.

The country, which says it produces about 545,000 barrels per day of crude, is struggling with tight liquidity because of a wide fiscal deficit and a hefty foreign debt load.

It reached a $4.2 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund in February which allowed it to receive an immediate disbursement of $652 million and opened the door for an additional $6 billion in loans from other multilateral institutions.

Ecuador will be able to draw on the funds for three years.

The country will continue to support efforts to stabilize the world oil market, the ministry said.

OPEC, Russia and other producers have since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd. The alliance, known as OPEC+, in July renewed the pact until March 2020.

Ecuador had in February asked OPEC for permission to produce above its quota, but the government never confirmed whether the organization had responded to the request.

Ecuador rejoined OPEC in 2007, after withdrawing for the first time in 1992. It originally joined in 1973.

Other small one-time OPEC members have also left the organization for fiscal reasons. Indonesia suspended its membership in 2016 as it sought to increase oil exports.

Ecuador's debt grew under former leftist President Rafael Correa.

His successor Lenin Moreno has implemented more market-friendly economic policies and begun implementing an austerity plan that includes layoffs of workers at state-owned companies and cuts to gasoline subsidies

The plan also includes efforts to find a private operator for state-run telecoms company CNT and other state-owned firms. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy)