OPEC Members List

OPEC is an influential international organization centered around oil production that was established in Baghdad, Iraq in September 1960 and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. Its founding countries include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela. The OPEC Members List includes:

– The founding members (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela)

– Qatar (1961) (since suspended membership)

– Indonesia (1962) (since suspended membership)

– Libya (1962)

– United Arab Emirates (1967)

– Algeria (1969)

– Nigeria (1971)

– Ecuador (1973) (since suspended membership)

– Gabon (1975)

– Angola (2007)

– Equatorial Guinea (2017)

– Congo (2018)

Five of these countries are in the Mideast, seven are in Africa, and one is in South America.

Indonesia has formerly been on the OPEC members list. It suspended its membership in January 2009, rejoined in January 2016, and terminated its membership again in November 2016.

Gabon ended its membership in January 1995 before rejoining in July 2016.

Ecuador suspended its membership in December 1992, rejoined in October 2007, before withdrawing in January 2020.

Qatar lapsed its membership in January 2019.

Brazil was invited to become an OPEC member in October 2019. The Brazilian national government has asserted that OPEC membership is not currently under consideration.

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Currently, There Are 13 Countries On The OPEC Members List

– Algeria

– Angola

– Democratic Republic of the Congo

– Equatorial Guinea

– Gabon

– Iran

– Iraq

– Kuwait

– Libya

– Nigeria

– Saudi Arabia

– United Arab Emirates

– Venezuela

 

OPEC Statute

The OPEC members list is divided into Founder Members, Full Members, and Associate Members. Founder Members include the original five countries. Full Members are those accepted in after submitting an application.

The OPEC Statute asserts that “any country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of Member Countries, may become a Full Member of the Organization, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of Full Members, including the concurring votes of all Founder Members.”

Associate Members are countries that do not meet the bar for full membership but can be admitted under special conditions.

 

OPEC+

OPEC+, pronounced as ‘OPEC plus’, is considered an extension of OPEC when the organization makes production cut deals with non-OPEC countries.

In September 2016, the organization faced the prospect of lower oil prices without a production cut. This incentivized OPEC to make headway toward its first production cut since oil’s price collapse during the 2008 financial crisis.

Eventually, one million barrels per day were dropped from production, agreed to in November 2016. Russia and ten other non-OPEC members also agreed to the cut. Nonetheless, other producers were expected to offset the cut to take more market share, notably the US shale industry. Libya and Nigeria also did not participate. Indonesia forfeited its membership rather than agree to a production cut.

From then on, any OPEC agreement with non-OPEC members would be referred to as OPEC+.

Most notably, this included the following deals and strategic responses:

December 2017: Russia and OPEC to cut production 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018.

January 2019: Qatar withdrawals from OPEC as part of the Qatar boycott by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt.

June 2019: Russia and OPEC agree to extend cuts by another six to nine months.

December 2019: OPEC and Russia agree to further cuts (2.1 million barrels per day) to prevent oversupply in the market, to last throughout Q1 2020.

March 2020: With oil already down to the coronavirus pandemic hitting global demand, Saudi Arabia and Russia decide to stop cooperating on output cuts. Economically, Saudi Arabia had been taking a disproportionate effect of the output cut. It can also produce at less than $5 per barrel, while Russia’s estimated breakeven cost is around $25-$30. “Flooding” the oil markets would also place economic pressure on the heavily indebted US shale industry.