OPEC: the Oil Price Extortion Cartel

I paid $35 to fill up my little car's gas tank on Route 4 this morning. I am just so totally sick and tired of the oil companies picking my pocket week-after-week. Aren't you?

So I went to refresh my knowledge of OPEC to the OPEC web site. Lo and behold it gives a clear and unabashed description of the cartel's functions, history, management and other activities. First let's just consider a bit of history.

A brief history of OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10-14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by eight other Members: Qatar (1961); Indonesia (1962); Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1962); United Arab Emirates (1967); Algeria (1969); Nigeria (1971); Ecuador (1973-1992) and Gabon (1975-1994). OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the first five years of its existence. This was moved to Vienna, Austria, on September 1, 1965.

1st OPEC Conference, Baghdad, September 10–14, 1960

OPEC's objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry. ...

A fourth pricing crisis was averted at the beginning of the decade, on the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East, when a sudden steep rise in prices on panic-stricken markets was moderated by output increases from OPEC Members. Prices then remained relatively stable until 1998, when there was a collapse, in the wake of the economic downturn in South-East Asia. Collective action by OPEC and some leading non-OPEC producers brought about a recovery. As the decade ended, there was a spate of mega-mergers among the major international oil companies in an industry that was experiencing major technological advances. For most of the 1990s, the ongoing international climate change negotiations threatened heavy decreases in future oil demand.

Somehow this mission of greed got modified somewhat over the years. There was so much money floating around the OPEC states that even these greedy parties had to make some token donations to give the appearance of altruism. OK then, what did they do? In March the organization announced in a press release: "OPEC Fund extends US$2.5 million grant for urgent housing project in Palestine."

Apparently OPEC is greedy, OPEC is charitable and OPEC also creates its own diplomatic realities. Their March press release says, "The OPEC Fund for International Development today approved a grant of US$2.5 million to co-finance Phase II of an urgent housing project in Gaza, Palestine. The project, a joint initiative of the OPEC Fund and the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (Arab Fund), along with the Palestinian Housing Council (PHC), aims to respond to the critical housing needs brought on by the destruction and damage of thousands of homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

We know there is no State of Palestine. OPEC does not know this?

I cannot claim to be surprised by the OPEC support of the Palestinians. But anyhow. Feh. This cartel of thieves disgusts me.

No comments: