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Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (O.P.E.C.)


A group of thirteen countries which are major producers and exporters of crude petroleum. The Organization, set up in 1960, acts as a forum for discussion of and agreement on the leve! at which the member countries should fix the price of their crude petroleum exports. The Organization also acts as a co-ordinator for determining the level of aid to developing countries granted by the members. The thirteen member countries are: Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, lraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. These countries account for about 60 per cent of total world crude oil production and about 90 per cent of total world exports. In 1976 a split in the Organization led to the introduction of a dual price system because of the decision by Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. that oil price rises should be kept to a minimum. In 1976 the Organization voted $800 million for aid to developing countries, of which $400 million was offered to the International Agricultural Development Fund, a fund set up by the World Food Council in Rome 1974.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.