OPEC oil production
OPEC stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and includes countries located in Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Currently, the organization has 13 member countries. The formation of OPEC marked a shift away from large multinational company market control to a primarily state-based control of natural resources. The supply restrictions that began in 1970 enabled a significant increase in oil prices and thus, OPEC’s revenues. As of 2016, OPEC produced 44 percent of the world’s total crude oil.
OPEC (with the exception of Iran) net oil export revenues have fluctuated over the last decade from a low of 433 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to a high of 917 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. Among OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest crude oil exporters. The country exported about 7.5 million barrels of oil per day in 2016. In total, some 25 million barrels of oil was exported per day by OPEC regions in 2016.
OPEC crude oil production can strongly impact global oil prices, especially during periods of war or upheaval. Prices of oil are largely affected by basic supply and demand. As of preliminary 2017 figures, the average price of OPEC crude oil has some 50.31 U.S. dollars per barrel an increase from previous decades. Low oil prices in 2015 and 2016 are due to a wide range of factors including, but not limited to, lower U.S. production, rising Canadian and Iraqi production, and more energy-efficient vehicles.