Year of Establishment: 1961
In the 1960s, to defend its own petroleum interests against the monopoly of European and American petroleum corporations, Venezuela and four other Middle East countries formed OPEC. The mission of OPEC is to unite member countries and stem oil price cuts ,caused by vicious competition, undermining their common interests. OPEC has control over 40% of global oil production. Its decisions often rock the global oil price and sometimes this has been used for political ends. In 1973, to retaliate against Western countries for supporting Israel, OPEC imposed an embargo against the U.S., Japan and European countries, sparking off the first oil crisis, and Taiwan was not spared from its ramifications.
As more and more countries across the globe have started petroleum extraction, OPEC membership has grown to 13 member states. Russia enlisted other non-OPEC oil exporting countries to cooperate with OPEC to fix global crude oil prices and negotiate production cut deals. The group is referred to as OPEC+. In 2020, the global oil price plummeted and crude oil future prices turned negative as the result of a production cut disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Although the United States is one of the world’s largest oil producers, it is not a member of OPEC and has not joined OPEC+.