Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Note: The worldwide economic crisis of late 2008 caused the price of crude oil to fall precipitously, reaching around $50 per barrel by early December. An October 24 OPEC production cut of 1.5 million barrels per day had no effect on the decline. A meeting scheduled for December 17, 2008, was set to discuss further cuts. OPEC was said to be aiming for a price near $75 per barrel.

Established: By resolutions adopted September 14, 1960, in Baghdad, Iraq, and codified in a statute approved by the Eighth (Extraordinary) OPEC Conference, held April 5–10, 1965, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Purpose: To coordinate and unify petroleum policies of member countries; to devise ways to ensure stabilization of international oil prices to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary” price and supply fluctuations.

Headquarters: ...

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