Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Founded in Baghdad in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The principal aims are: to unify the petroleum policies of member countries and determine the best means for safeguarding their interests, individually and collectively; to devise ways and means of ensuring the stabilization of prices in international oil markets with a view to eliminating harmful and unnecessary fluctuations; and to secure a steady income for the producing countries, an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations, and a fair return on their capital to those investing in the petroleum industry. It is estimated that OPEC members possess 75% of the world’s known reserves of crude petroleum, of which about two-thirds are in the Middle East. OPEC countries account for about 43% of world oil production (55% in the mid-1970s).

Further Reading

  1. Parra, Francisco, Oil Politics: A Modern History of Petroleum. 2010Google Scholar
  2. Skeet, I., OPEC: 25 Years of Prices and Policies. 1988Google Scholar
  3. Yergin, Daniel, The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World. 2011Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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