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Organization Of The Petroleum Exporting Countries

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Chapter Summary

Founded in 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent intergovernmental organization, presently (2009) comprising 13 oil-producing and exporting countries. In the area of international energy law, OPEC is the international organization with perhaps the greatest impact on the oil sector. OPEC was formed at a meeting held on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by five founder members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Three categories of membership are provided for under OPEC's Statute: (1) Founder Members; (2) Full Members; and (3) Associate Members. Representatives of OPEC Member Countries meet at the OPEC Conference to co-ordinate and unify their petroleum policies in order to promote stability and harmony in the oil market. Pursuant to Article 37 of the OPEC Statute, budget appropriations are apportioned on an equal basis among all Member Countries, after taking into consideration the annual subscriptions of the Associate Members.

Keywords: international energy law; Iran; oil sector; OPEC

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