Sample Research Paper

Words 1,600

It would not be precisely accurate to lament, “How have the mighty fallen” when examining the current power of OPEC – the cartel that named itself the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. But even as OPEC has become slightly more vigilant and militant over the last few months, it is still less powerful as a cartel then it was in the 1970s.

The organization was formed to help raise oil prices and lower production (the two are obviously related) after a glut of oil in the 1950s saw oil prices fall. The organization was founded in 1950 and contained eleven member nations: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Ecuador would later join – in 1973 – but would leave nineteen years later while Gabon would become a member in 1975 and leave after twenty years.

During the 1970s, as OPEC nations dropped production, gas and oil prices rose and shortages occurred across the United States and to a somewhat lesser extent Europe. (The United States was targeted with an embargo by Arab nations because of U.S. support of Israel). Similar but smaller oil shocks have occurred a number of times since the original one, especially during the two Gulf Wars. This was especially true during the first Gulf War when Iraqi forces set fire to Kuwaiti oil wells.

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