OPEC is a permanent intergovernmental organization created in September 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The membership of OPEC has grown over the years and is currently comprised of 12 oil producing nations which are heavily reliant on oil revenues as their main source of income. Together with some of the large non-member oil exporting countries, such as The Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, the actions of OPEC member countries has the potential to significantly impact the global price of crude oil.
Source: BP Statistical Review 2015
The current member countries of OPEC are: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Together these countries produce approximately 41% of global oil output and possess almost 72% of the total proven crude oil reserves in the world.