Published at 03:07PM - 18/01/15

OPEC or the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is an organisation set up to control policy and oil prices for its member states.

OPEC’s mission 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”.


Set up in 1960, initial member states included Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Venezuela.

Today the number of member states has grown to include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

OPEC regularly meets to discuss hydrocarbon production policy, and to decide on weather to increase or decrease production across their members.

Due to this, OPEC is arguably the worlds most influential organisation and factor in relation to world oil prices.