OPEC is short for The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, founded on the 14th September 1960 in Baghdad by five members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. since 1965 OPEC has been Headquartered in Vienna, Austria. As of September 2018, the are 13 member countries and accounted for an estimated 44 per cent of global oil production and 81.5 per cent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by the so-called “Seven Sisters” grouping of multinational oil companies.
A larger group called OPEC+ was formed in late 2016 to have more control over the global crude oil market.
Flag of OPEC
OPEC’s objective is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.
Flags of OPEC members
Ex-Members of OPEC
- Qatar left OPEC on 1 January 2019, after joining the organization in 1961, to focus on natural gas production, of which it is the world’s largest exporter in the form of liquified natural gas.
- Ecuador announced that it would leave OPEC on 1 January 2020.
- Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it again in January 2016, but decided to suspend its membership once more at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016.
Flag of OPEC+ members
In addition to formal OPEC members, 10 additional oil-exporting countries, led by Russia, form the OPEC+