Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 with the stated mission of coordinating the petroleum policies of member countries to ensure stable and fair oil prices for both buyers and producers of petroleum. The founding OPEC members, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Kuwait, created the organization to ensure their sovereign control over their petroleum reserves and cooperate to counterbalance the economic power of multinational oil companies. Their combined oil production of around 40% of total global production allowed them to start setting the market prices. OPEC has continued to cooperate with other states to ensure the prices of petroleum remain fair and prosperous to both buyers and suppliers.