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Short for Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries - a cartel-like organisation, which represents the interests of oil producing and exporting countries. The members agree on the quantity and the prices of the oil exported. The OPEC headquarters is situated in Vienna (Austria).

OPEC decisions have a large influence on world price of oil. A good example of this in action was the oil crisis in the 1970s. The OPEC tries to control the world oil price through setting quotas for its members, which are raised when the oil prize is high, and lowered when it is low. The policy has been successfull in the past, causing the prizes of oil to rise to levels that otherwise are not reached by raw materials, but only by industry products.


Major oil-producing countries that are not OPEC members include Mexico, Norway, Russia and Oman.

see also petroleum