Brief History

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the historic Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The five Founding Members were later joined by other Members: Qatar (1961) – terminated its membership in January 2019; Indonesia (1962) – suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it in January 2016, but decided to suspend it again in November 2016; Libya (1962); United Arab Emirates (1967); Algeria (1969); Nigeria (1971); Ecuador (1973) – suspended its membership in December 1992, but reactivated it in October 2007; Angola (2007); Gabon (1975) – terminated its membership in January 1995, but rejoined in July 2016; Equatorial Guinea (2017); and the Republic of the Congo (2018).

In accordance with its Statute, the mission of OPEC is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

OPEC has held three separate Summits of Heads of State and Government of its Member Countries. The First Summit was held in Algiers (Algeria) in 1975. The Second Summit was held in Caracas (Venezuela) in 2000. The Third Summit was held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in 2007.

These Summits were held in order to discuss issues of global importance and establish guidelines for the Organization’s policies. Each Summit concluded with the issuing of a Solemn Declaration in which principles were set out to guide the future work of the Organization. These principles have focused on the issues poverty; the environment; and the inherent sovereignty of OPEC Member Countries over their natural resources.

The first Summit of Heads of State and Government in Algiers in 1975, led to the establishment of the OPEC Fund for International Development in 1976.

OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the

first five years of its existence. This was moved to Vienna, Austria, on September 1, 1965.

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