O P E C
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WHAT DOES OPEC STAND FOR?
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created in 1960 to unify and protect the interests of oil-producing countries. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a group of twelve states made up of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Venezuela and Ecuador. The organization has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings among the oil ministers of its member states. OPEC allows oil-producing countries to guarantee their income by coordinating policies and prices among them. This unified front was created primarily in response to the efforts of Western oil companies to drive oil prices down. The original members of OPEC included Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. OPEC has since expanded to include seven more countries (Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) making a total membership of 12.
OPEC represents a considerable political and economical force. Two-thirds of the oil reserves in the world belong to OPEC members; likewise, OPEC members are responsible for half of the world's oil exports. The fact that OPEC controls the availability of a substance so universally sought after by modern society renders the organization a force to be reckoned with. BRIEF HISTORY
Venezuela and Iran were the first countries to move towards the establishment of OPEC in the 1960s by approaching Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1949, suggesting that they exchange views and explore avenues for regular and closer communication among petroleum-producing nations. The founding members are Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Later members include Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Qatar, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates. In 10–14 September 1960, at the initiative of the Venezuelan Energy and Mines minister Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo and the Saudi Arabian Energy and Mines minister Abdullah al-Tariki, the governments of Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela met in Baghdad to discuss ways to increase the price of the crude oil produced by their respective countries. OPEC was founded in Baghdad, triggered by a 1960 law instituted by American President Dwight Eisenhower that forced quotas on Venezuelan and Persian Gulf oil imports in favor of the Canadian and Mexican oil industries. Eisenhower cited national security, land access to energy supplies, at times of war. When this led to falling prices for oil in these regions, Venezuela's president Romulo Betancourt reacted by seeking an alliance with oil producing Arab nations as a preemptive strategy to maintain the continued autonomy and profitability of Venezuela's oil resources. As a result, OPEC was founded to unify and coordinate members' petroleum policies. Original OPEC members include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Between 1960 and 1975, the organization expanded to include Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), and Nigeria (1971). Ecuador and Gabon were early members of OPEC, but Ecuador withdrew on December 31, 1992 because it was unwilling or unable to pay a $2 million membership fee and felt that it needed to produce more oil than it was allowed to under the OPEC quota, although it rejoined in October 2007. Similar concerns prompted Gabon to suspend membership in January 1995. Angola joined on the first day of 2007. Norway and Russia have attended OPEC meetings as observers. Indicating...
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