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The organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,opecThe OPEC for shortness, is an international non-governmental organization (INGO). Its members are the States, which economics depend from income of oil export essentially.

The establishing of the OPEC was given rise to striving of petroleum exporting countries to coordinate efforts on prevention of the fall in the oil prices in the world. A cause for the establishing of the OPEC was impact of the "Seven Sisters", a world cartel, joined the companies: "British Petroleum", "Chevron", "Exxon", "Gulf, "Mobil", "Royal Dutch Shell", "Texaco". These companies, had control over refining of crude oil and distribution of the oil products all over the world, kept purchasing prices for oil down unilaterally, on the basis of which they paid income taxes and royalty (rental payment) to oil countries. There was the oversupply of oil on the market in the world in 1960-th, and the original target for establishing of the OPEC was an agreed limitation of oil production for stabilization of prices.

The OPEC, as permanently functioning organization, was being established at the Baghdad Conference on September 10-14 of 1960. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, an initiator of the OPEC foundation, were in the organization initially. To these five countries, founders of the OPEC, nine more countries joined that organization at the later stage: Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962-2008, but withdrew the OPEC on November 1-st of 2008), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirate (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973-1992, 2007), Gabon (1975-1994), Angola (2007).

At the present day, the OPEC consists of eleven members, with a glance with due account for changes of 2007, affiliation of a new member, Angola, and Ecuador returns to the ranks.

The headquarters of the OPEC was located initially to Geneva, Switzerland, after was moved to Vienna on September 1 of 1965.

The purpose of the OPEC is the coordination of an activity and formulation of the common policy with reference to oil production between participating countries, fixing of the stable oil prices, providing consumers with the stable oil supplies, to get a return on investments at oil industry.

Ministers of Energy and Oil of the OPEC member-countries hold meetings twice a year for assessment of the oil global market and forecast of market`s development for the future. The decisions on actions, that are necessary to take for stabilization of the market, are adopted within these meetings. The decisions on the volume of the crude oil production are adopted in accordance with a shift in demands on the market in OPEC conference.

The members of the OPEC control about two thirds of the world oil reserves. They account for 40 per cents of the global oil production or a half of the world export. A peak of the oil production hasn`t yet gone through by OPEC and the Russian Federation.

Whereas Russia is the largest oil-exporting country, unaligned the OPEC, this brings up the question about Russia`s joining the organization. However, experts say about the divergence in the strategic interests of the OPEC and the Russian Federation, to which is more profitable to stay an independent active force in the global oil market. Meanwhile, Russia stated its readiness to become a permanent observer in this cartel in 2008.

Large incomes, earned by the OPEC members from oil export, are taken an ambivalent effect on them. On the one part, many of them succeed in the raising of living standards, on the other part, "Petrodollars" can become a force, that slackened an economic development.

There is no one country, even the richest of oil, that has become considerably developed and modern among the OPEC members. Three Arabic States: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait can be named as rich, but not developed countries. There is an indicator of their comparative backwardness, if for no other reason than, down to date in all three countries are kept the monarchical regimes of the feudal system. Libya, Venezuela and Iran are at the same low level of the prosperity, as Russia. Two another countries: Iraq and Nigeria, must be taken as no mere pour, but very pour.

By the data of http://www.wikipedia.org

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