OPEC stands for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It is a group comprising all of the world’s top oil-producing nations, founded to coordinate oil policy as well as sharing economic and technical aid.
The main aim of OPEC is to maintain a stable price for oil, avoiding the economic problems that arise from major fluctuations in the oil price in petroleum-producing countries. It also states that it wishes to provide ‘a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry’.
It was founded in 1960, and as of 2015 comprises 12 members: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Qatar, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria.