international organization of petroleum-exporting countries

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an international organization. Since 1965, the headquarters of OPEC has been in Vienna, Austria. OPEC was established in Baghdad, Iraq on 10–14 September 1960.[4]

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
Flag of OPEC
Location of OPEC
HeadquartersVienna, Austria
Official languageEnglish
TypeInternational cartel[1]
Mohammed Barkindo
EstablishmentBaghdad, Iraq
• Statute
14 September 1960
• In effect
January 1961
CurrencyIndexed as USD per barrel (US$/bbl)

Its work is to "coordinate and unify the petroleum policies" of its members, and also to "ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry".[5][6][7][8]

According to the United States Department of Energy Energy Information Administration (EIA), OPEC crude oil production is an important factor affecting global oil prices. OPEC sets production targets for its member nations and generally, when OPEC production targets are reduced, oil prices increase.[9] Projections of changes in Saudi production result in changes in the price of crude oil.[9]

OPEC was formed in 1960 when the international oil market was largely dominated by multinational companies known as the 'seven sisters'.[10]: 503  The formation of OPEC was a turning point in state control over natural resources.[10]: 505  In the 1960s OPEC made sure that oil companies could not unilaterally cut prices.[10]: 505  In December 2014, OPEC and the oil men were named in the top 10 most influential people in the shipping industry by Lloyds.[11]



21 countries are members of OPEC.[12] The names of these countries are:

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Austria
  4. Bahrain
  5. Benin
  6. Brunei Darussalam
  7. Cameroon
  8. Congo
  9. Ecuador
  10. Equatorial Guinea
  11. Gabon
  12. Iran
  13. Iraq
  14. Kuwait
  15. Libya
  16. Nigeria
  17. Oman
  18. Saudi Arabia
  19. Syria
  20. The United Arab Emirates
  21. Venezuela.

Indonesia and Qatar are former members.

Member countries of the OPEC came together to form this international organization with several aims. Some of the aims are:

  • To protect the interest of the member countries.
  • To make sure that the price of petroleum products do not change much.
  • To make certain a regular supply of petroleum oil to other countries.
  • To make sure that member countries get the right amount of money from sale of oil products.
  • To decide policies to follow relating to production and sale of petroleum oil.

However, OPEC has not always been able to achieve all these aims.



  1. "Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law" (PDF). OECD. 1993. p. 19.
  2. "Member Countries". OPEC. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  3. "OPEC 172nd Meeting concludes". OPEC (Press release). 25 May 2017.
  4. Griffin, James M.; Fantini, Mario (2014), "2014 World Oil Outlook (WOO)" (PDF), OPEC, Vienna, p. 396, ISBN 978-3-9502722-8-4
  5. "About", OPEC, Vienna, nd, retrieved 12 December 2014
  6. "Statute" (PDF), OPEC, 2012, retrieved 12 December 2014
  7. "Opec and Oil Prices: Leaky Barrels". The Economist. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  8. "Our Mission". OPEC. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Energy & Financial Markets: what drives crude oil prices?", EIA, 2014, retrieved 12 December 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Yergin, Daniel 1991. The Prize: the epic quest for oil, money, and power. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  11. "3. Opec and the oil men". Lloyd's List. 12 December 2014.
  12. "OPEC : Member Countries". www.opec.org.

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