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OPEC was established in Baghdad, Iraq in September 1960, by signing an agreement by five countries, namely Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The headquarters of the organization is in Vienna. Qatar in 1961, Indonesia and Libya in 1962, the United Arab Emirates in 1967, Algeria in 1969, Nigeria in 1971, Ecuador in 1973, Gabon in 1975, Angola in 2007, Equatorial Guinea in 2017 and Congo in 2018 were added to these countries.


The organization currently has 13 members. These; Algeria, Angora, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The purpose of this organization, which was established by oil producing and exporting countries, is to provide a safe, fair and stable price to exporters, to supply regular and economical oil to importing countries, and to protect the interests of capital groups that have invested in the sector by arranging and unifying the oil policies of the member countries of the organization. The main purpose of the organization in the article of the OPEC founding agreement; It is stated as “the unification and coordination of oil policies for the best protection of the interests of individual and collective member states”.


To briefly summarize the main founding objectives of OPEC;

• Harmonization and coordination of the petroleum policies of the member states,

• Identifying effective means to protect the interests of the member states and maximize profits,

• Maintaining the earnings of oil producing states at a standard level,

• To meet the oil needs of the importing countries continuously and effectively,

• To be sensitive to the environment,

• Ensuring fair earnings from oil industry investments,

• Collaborating with non-OPEC member states.


According to the available data, 81.89% of the proven oil reserves in the world belong to OPEC Member countries. Venezuela, which holds 24.9% of its oil reserves, ranks first, followed by Saudi Arabia with 21.9%. In this list, Iran is in the 3rd place with a rate of 12.8%, while Iraq is in the 4th place with a rate of 12.1%. As a result, the proven oil reserves of OPEC countries currently stand at 1,214.21 billion barrels. As it can be understood from these data, OPEC member countries have an important place in the oil industry with their high reserve ratios.

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