A brief history of OPEC and why it matters now : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR

Without OPEC, individual oil-exporting countries would pump as much as possible to maximize national revenue. OPEC countries would run out of their most precious resource that much faster. Instead, OPEC members agree to produce only enough to keep the price high for all members.

Conversely, in an undersupplied global oil market (due to strong demand or unexpected supply issues), OPEC will use some of its spare capacity to increase global supplies to prevent prices from rising too much. OPEC meetings and coordinated production targets have always affected global oil prices, and market participants closely follow them. OPEC and OPEC+ countries combined produced about 59% of global oil production, 48 million b/d in 2022, and so influence global oil market balances and oil prices now more than ever. More recent production agreements have exempted Iran and Libya because of sanctions and other instability in crude oil output. Following Saudi Arabia’s lead, other OPEC members soon decided to maintain production quotas.

The cartel toughed it out until many of the shale companies went bankrupt. In response, OPEC members—particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait—reduced their production levels in the early 1980s in what proved nvidia stock forecast 2022 to be a futile effort to defend their posted prices. The influence of individual OPEC members on the organization and on the oil market usually depends on their levels of reserves and production.

In recent years, there has been a gradual but noticeable shift in OPEC’s stance regarding environmental issues. Some member countries, notably Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have started to invest in renewable energy projects and research into carbon capture and storage technologies. These initiatives signal a growing recognition within OPEC of the need to engage with the global conversation on climate change and environmental sustainability. https://bigbostrade.com/ Traditionally, OPEC has emphasised the importance of oil as a critical energy source for global development, advocating for a balanced approach to the renewable energy transition. This stance often involves highlighting the need for energy security and economic stability alongside environmental considerations. However, critics argue that this position significantly slows down the global shift towards renewable energy sources.

  1. The group cut its production by 9.7 million barrels per day in May 2020.
  2. Tools to customize searches, view specific data sets, study detailed documentation, and access time-series data.
  3. In 2019, for example, Qatar officially withdrew from OPEC, signaling its disapproval of Saudi Arabia’s dominance over the organization and a Saudi-led blockade of the country.

Many non-OPEC members also voluntarily adjust their oil production in response to OPEC’s decisions. In the 1990s, they increased production to take advantage of OPEC’s restraints. These cooperating non-OPEC members are Mexico, Norway, Oman, and Russia. In 1960, five OPEC countries allied to regulate the supply and price of oil. If they competed with each other, the price of oil would drop too far.

History and impact

On my several trips to meet with European officials, my conversations were guided by this strategic approach. Neither Kissinger, nor Secretary of State William Rodgers, nor I were invited. Nixon wanted to limit participants to top monetary officials and ensure total secrecy for the final announcement to have the maximum impact. Fortunately, I had time to grow into the job because, in those early days, Kissinger had no great interest in economics.

On November 30, 2017,  OPEC agreed to continue withholding 2% of global oil supply. That continued the policy OPEC formed on November 30, 2016, when it agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd). OPEC claims that its members collectively own about four-fifths of the world’s proven petroleum reserves, while they account for two-fifths of world oil production. Members differ in a variety of ways, including the size of oil reserves, geography, religion, and economic and political interests.

The group meets regularly to agree on output targets in an effort to control global oil prices. OPEC’s actions at COP28 have attracted significant criticism, highlighting a growing divide between the organisation’s public commitment to environmental sustainability and its resistance to reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Critics argue that OPEC’s approach is undermining global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.

High oil prices are causing some oil-importing countries to look to unconventional—and cleaner—sources of energy. These alternatives, such as shale production as an alternative energy source, and hybrid and electric cars that reduce the dependence on petroleum products, continue to put pressure on the organization. When prices are higher than $80 a barrel, other countries have the incentive to drill more expensive oil fields. Sure enough, once oil prices got closer to $100 a barrel, it became cost-effective for Canada to explore its shale oil fields. U.S. companies used fracking to open up the Bakken oil fields for production. OPEC waited to cut oil production because it didn’t want to see its market share drop further.

2020: production cut and OPEC+

Current OPEC members are[ref] Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled Aramco on Tuesday announced it is pausing plans to raise its crude production capacity from 12 million barrels per day to 13 million barrels per day. OPEC is now often referred to as OPEC+, a loose grouping of OPEC and 10 other oil producers who support OPEC’s aims to control oil prices. As the world grapples with the realities of climate change, the role of OPEC is increasingly under scrutiny.

Saudi-Russian price war

OPEC produced an estimated 28.7 million b/d of crude oil in 2022, which was 38% of total world oil production that year. The largest producer and most influential member of OPEC is Saudi Arabia, which was the world’s second-largest oil producer in 2022, after the United States. Many Republican lawmakers, and some Democrats, have therefore called for the United States to ramp up drilling. Still, analysts say that U.S. shale production, which collapsed during the pandemic-induced price slump, will take months to significantly increase. Biden has reportedly been mulling a visit to Saudi Arabia, and in March, senior U.S. officials made their first trip to Venezuela since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Caracas in 2019.

OPEC regularly meets to set oil production targets and coordinate output to help manage global oil prices for the entire group. In 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and harsh sanctions imposed by the West in response have caused global oil prices to surge and renewed attention on OPEC’s role. That March, Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports, while the European Union (EU) said it will work to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. By that time, global oil prices spiked to their highest level since 2008, at more than $130 per barrel of Brent crude, an international benchmark. OPEC decided to maintain high production levels and consequently low prices as of mid-2016, in an attempt to push higher-cost producers out of the market and regain market share.

Angola, which became a member in 2007, announced its withdrawal in 2023. OPEC, multinational organization that was established to coordinate the petroleum policies of its members and to provide member states with technical and economic aid. Global oil demand is projected to have risen by 2.3 million barrels per day in 2023 to 101.7 million barrels per day, according to the International Energy Agency’s annual report published in December. The presence of a large number of fossil fuel lobbyists at the summit, including those representing OPEC, further fuelled concerns about the group’s commitment to climate action. Environmental groups and national representatives have expressed frustration over OPEC’s apparent strategy to protect its oil interests at the expense of global climate goals. 79.5% of the world’s proven oil reserves can be found within OPEC member countries.

Spare capacity

What products it might have sold were restricted by American laws and regulations that prevented or imposed strict limits on imports of goods from Communist countries, including China. So Sino-American economic relations were hardly on Kissinger’s or my agendas when I first arrived in Washington. Our technology helps businesses to tackle their own carbon emissions without incurring a huge cost. The Carbon Management Platform allows companies to manage their CO2 emissions and to take steps to reduce them. Together, our work can elicit the global impact necessary to fight against climate change.

Some members, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, have very large per capita oil reserves; they also are relatively strong financially and thus have considerable flexibility in adjusting their production. Saudi Arabia, which has the second largest reserves and a relatively small (but fast-growing) population, has traditionally played a dominant role in determining overall production and prices. Venezuela, on the other hand, has the largest reserves but produces only a fraction of what Saudi Arabia produces.

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