Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries

Organization Of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries

Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries

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The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or OAPEC is a multi-governmental organization headquartered in Kuwait which coordinates energy policies in Arab nations, and whose main stated purpose is developmental.


On 9 January 1968 three of the (then) most conservative Arab oil states Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia agreed in Beirut to found OAPEC, aiming to separate oil production and sale from politics in the wake of the halfhearted 1967 oil embargo related to the Six Day War. Such use of the oil weapon in the struggle against Israel had been regularly proposed at Arab Petroleum Congresses, but it took this war for it to happen. However, Saudi Arabia's oil production was up 9% for that year, and the main embargo lasted only ten days and was completely ended by the Khartoum Conference.

OAPEC was originally intended to be a conservative Arab political organization which by its restriction in membership to countries whose main export was oil would exclude governments seen as radical, like Egypt and Algeria, and had the additional rule that the three founders' approval was necessary for new members to join. The original aim was to control the oil weapon and prevent its use from being swayed by popular emotion. Iraq initially declined to join, preferring to work under the umbrella of the Arab League, as it considered OAPEC too conservative. Equally, the three founders considered Iraq too radical and did not want it as a...
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