OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), multinational organization (est. 1960, formally constituted 1961) that coordinates petroleum policies and economic aid among oil-producing nations. Its Board of Governors and board chairperson are elected by member nations; OPEC's headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. Members consist of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador (membership suspended 1992–2007), Indonesia (membership suspended 2009–15), Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Saudi Arabia has traditionally dominated the organization, owing to its enormous oil reserves; the organization's members produce about 40% of the world's crude oil.

In 1973, as a result of the Arab oil embargo against Western nations who supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War (see Arab-Israeli Wars), OPEC was able to raise oil prices significantly; the price hike caused inflation in oil-importing nations. Further increases ensued but by 1982, as importing countries pursued alternate energy resources and policies designed to reduce oil consumption, OPEC was forced to lower prices. Subsequently OPEC has at times been able to raise oil prices by cutting production, though it has needed the cooperation of major non-OPEC oil-exporting nations to do so. More often, prices have fluctuated in response to changes in demand and to national or international instability and conflict that have reduced or threatened to reduce oil production.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries): Selected full-text books and articles

OPEC from Myth to Reality By Cuervo, Luis E Houston Journal of International Law, Vol. 30, No. 2, Spring 2008
The Politics of the Global Oil Industry: An Introduction By Ann Genova; Toyin Falola Praeger, 2005
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "OPEC and International Oil Organizations"
The Politics of Oil-Producer Cooperation By Dag Harald Claes Westview Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Oil, Economic Growth, and Political Institutions"
Analysis of Alternative Scenarios in the World Oil Market; OPEC with and without Russia By Mahbobi, Mohammad; Bezymyannaya, Maria Journal of International Business Research, Vol. 12, No. 2, April 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
OPEC: Some Tough Challenges Ahead By Ismail, Nehad The Middle East, No. 452, March 2014
The Natural Law Basis of Legal Obligation: International Antitrust and OPEC in Context By Moore, Joel Brandon Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 36, No. 1, January 2003
OPEC's Dominance of the Global Oil Market: The Rise of the World's Dependency on Oil By Rose, Euclid A The Middle East Journal, Vol. 58, No. 3, Summer 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Which Way Now for OPEC? By Ford, Neil The Middle East, No. 343, March 2004
OPEC: Ensuring an Energy-Secure Future By UN Chronicle, Vol. 40, No. 2, June-August 2003
How Wall Street Controls Oil: And How OPEC Will Be the Fall Guy for $90 Oil By Verleger, Philip K., Jr The International Economy, Vol. 21, No. 1, Winter 2007
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