The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an international economic organisation formed by some petroleum producing countries of the world, to stabilise and control the world output and price of crude petroleum. The organisation founded in September 1960, has a total membership of 13 countries. The member countries are, Algeria, Gabon, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirate and Venezuela. The headquarters is in Vienna, Austria. Nigeria joined the organisation in July 1971 as a result of the growing importance of oil in the Nigerian economy. By this reason, Nigeria had fulfilled all the basic requirements qualifying her as a member of the organisation. Member countries have gained tremendously from the support given by OPEC.
As an illustration, OPEC has helped member countries to fully control the exploitation of their oil resources. It has fought and gained the power to fix the price of its members’ oil and hence, maintain prices. Nigeria’s oil wealth, however, can be said to have been derived from the higher oil prices which were supported by OPEC.