OPEC Explained

OPEC Explained

OPEC, which stands for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [ ɔ ː gəna ɪ ze ɪ ʃ n əv p ɪ trə ʊ ljəm eks p ɔ ː t ɪ ŋ k ʌ ntr ɪ z; English »Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries«] according to abbreviationfinder, is an international organization for the coordination of the petroleum policy of its member countries

As the best-known commodity cartel, OPEC aims to stabilize the proceeds from oil exports; founded on September 14th, 1960 in Baghdad by Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela; Headquarters: Vienna (until 1965 Geneva). Other full members are: Algeria, Angola (2007), Equatorial Guinea (2017), Ecuador (1973–92, 2007–2020), Gabon (until 1995, again since 2016), Republic of the Congo (2018), Libya, Nigeria and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE). Indonesia (until 2008, again in 2015) suspended its membership in 2016. Qatar, which joined OPEC in 1961, ended its membership on January 1, 2019.

The Arab countries first tried to unify their oil policy within the framework of the Arab League; The reason for the establishment of OPEC was ultimately the two unilateral lowering of the list prices for oil (1959 and 1960) by the international oil companies, which resulted in massive revenue losses for the producing countries. – In 1968 the Arab member states of OPEC formed a special organization, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, abbreviation OAPEC, seat: Kuwait; other members: Egypt, Bahrain and Syria. After the fourth Israeli-Arab war in 1973, the OAPEC states bore the financial burden of the oil boycott on Western Europe and North America.


Coordination and standardization of the oil policy of the member countries in order to protect their interests collectively and individually, stabilization of world market prices in order to secure adequate revenues for the producing countries, while at the same time efficient and secure supply of the consumer countries as well as guaranteeing sufficient income for investors in the mineral oil industry.


The most important body is the conference of oil and finance ministers, which meets (at least) twice a year and sets the guidelines (especially oil prices and production volumes). Decisions are made according to the principle of unanimity and (formally) equal voting rights; However, decisions made are not binding and therefore do not interfere with the sovereignty of the member states.

The board of governors, with equal representation, as well as the secretariat under the direction of the general secretary (elected by the conference for three years) take on the administrative tasks. An economic commission continuously analyzes supply and demand on the world oil market. The Special Fund for Development Aid (OPEC Fund for International Development), which has existed since 1976, grants low-interest loans and grants.


The OPEC, abbreviation for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [English, = Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries], is an organization founded in 1960 that regulates the oil production and oil policy of these countries.

OPEC is based in Vienna. Members are Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, Angola, Gabon, Iraq, Iran, Congo, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates. The aim of OPEC is to stabilize crude oil prices by regulating production volumes. Because the member states of OPEC regulate a large part of the oil produced worldwide, OPEC is a powerful organization. Because many countries are dependent on the oil of the OPEC countries.

In this way, OPEC has already been able to use its power as a means of political pressure several times. B. in the oil crisis of 1973/74. At that time, Egypt and Syria attacked the land of Israel in order to recapture the territories occupied by Israel. The USA, the Soviet Union and the UN finally pushed for a ceasefire, which outraged the Arab oil-producing countries. In response to this, they reduced their output, which caused the world market price for crude oil to rise rapidly.