Together, OPEC members control about 79.9% of the world’s total proven crude reserves.
OPEC member countries monitor the market and decide collectively to raise or lower oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.
A unanimous vote is required on raising or lowering oil production.
Each member country controls the oil production of its country, but OPEC aims to coordinate the production policies of member countries.
Oil and energy ministers from OPEC member countries usually meet twice a year to determine OPEC’s output level. They also meet in extraordinary sessions whenever required.
Angola – 2007-present
Congo – 2018-present
Equatorial Guinea – 2017-present
Gabon – 1975-1995; 2016-present
Iran – 1960-present
Iraq – 1960-present
Kuwait – 1960-present
Libya – 1962-present
Nigeria – 1971-present
Saudi Arabia – 1960-present
United Arab Emirates – 1967-present
Venezuela – 1960-present
Ecuador – 1973-1992; 2007-2020
Indonesia – 1962-2009; 2016
Qatar – 1961-2019
September 14, 1960 – OPEC is formed in Baghdad, Iraq, by founding members Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
October 1973 – OPEC issues an embargo against the United States, halting oil exports. Customers in the United States experience long lines at gas stations and at times cannot find gas at all. Prices go from 36 cents a gallon in 1972 to over 50 cents a gallon in 1973.
December 31, 1974 – Libya lifts its 14-month-old oil embargo against the United States.
November 2007 – Ecuador rejoins OPEC after a 15-year absence.
May 2008 – Indonesia announces that it will leave OPEC in 2009. The country is currently a net importer of oil, due to falling production from aging wells.
January 1, 2009 – Indonesia suspends its membership in OPEC.
January 1, 2016-November 30, 2016 – Indonesia rejoins OPEC, but suspends its membership after 11 months.
July 2016 – Gabon rejoins OPEC.
January 1, 2019 – Qatar leaves OPEC.
January 1, 2020 – Ecuador leaves OPEC.