Opec definition, members, history, goals electricity definition chemistry


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. As a result, non-OPEC supply increased.

On November 30, 2017, OPEC agreed to continue withholding 2 percent 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. Starting January 2017, it will produce 32.5 million barrels per day. That’s still above its average 2015 level of 32.32 mbps. The agreement exempted Nigeria and Libya. It gave Iraq its first quotas since the 1990s. Russia, not an OPEC member, voluntarily agreed to cut production.

The cut came a year after OPEC had raised its production quota to 31.5 mbpd on December 4, 2015. OPEC was struggling to maintain market share. Its share fell from 44.5 percent in 2012 to 41.8 percent in 2014. That’s because of a 16 percent increase in U.S. shale oil production. As the oil supply rose, prices fell from $108.54 in April 2012 to $34.72 in December 2015. That was one of the biggest drops in oil price history.

OPEC’s second goal is to reduce oil price volatility. For maximum efficiency, oil extraction must run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Closing facilities could physically damage oil installations and even the fields themselves. Ocean drilling is difficult and expensive to shut down. It is then in OPEC’s best interests to keep world prices stable. A slight modification in production is usually enough to restore price stability.

For example, in June 2008, oil prices hit an all-time high of $143 per barrel. OPEC responded by agreeing to produce a little more oil. This move brought prices down. But the global financial crisis sent oil prices plummeting to $33.73 per barrel in December.

OPEC third goal is to adjust the world’s oil supply in response to shortages. For example, it replaced the oil lost during the Gulf Crisis in 1990. Several million barrels of oil per day were cut off when Saddam Hussein’s armies destroyed refineries in Kuwait. OPEC also increased production in 2011 during the crisis in Libya.

The Oil and Energy Ministers from the OPEC members meet at least twice a year to coordinate their oil production policies. Each member country abides by an honor system in which everyone agrees to produce a certain amount. If a nation winds up producing more, there is no sanction or penalty. Each country is responsible for reporting its own production. In this scenario, there is room for "cheating." A country won’t go too far over its quota though unless it wants to risk being kicked out of OPEC.

Despite its power, OPEC cannot completely control the price of oil. In some countries, additional taxes are imposed on gasoline and other oil-based end products to promote conservation. Oil prices are also set by the oil futures market. Much of the oil price is determined by commodities traders. That’s the underlying reason why oil prices are so high. OPEC Members

Saudi Arabia is by far the largest producer, contributing almost one-third of total OPEC oil production. It is the only member that produces enough alone to impact the world’s supply materially. For this reason, it has more authority and influence than the other countries. History

In 1960, five OPEC countries allied to regulate the supply and price of oil. These countries realized they had a nonrenewable resource. If they competed with each other, the price of oil would drop too far. They would run out of the finite commodity sooner than they would if oil prices were higher.

OPEC didn’t flex its muscle until the 1973 oil embargo. It responded to a sudden drop in the U.S. dollar’s value after President Nixon abandoned the gold standard. Since oil contracts are priced in dollars, the revenues of oil exporters fell when the dollar fell. In response to the embargo, the United States created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Non-OPEC Oil-Producing Countries

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. That resulted in low oil prices and profits for everyone. These cooperating non-OPEC members are Mexico, Norway, Oman, and Russia.

Oil shale producers did not learn that lesson. They kept pumping oil, sending prices plummeting in 2014. As a result, many went below their break-even price of $65 a barrel. OPEC did not step in to lower its production. Instead, it allowed prices to fall to maintain its own market share. That’s because the break-even price is much lower for most of its members.