- OPEC has historically had difficulty maintaining “fair” and stable oil prices
- Its partnership with Russia helped raise oil prices and regain the group’s sway
- Market volatility and U.S. legal challenges will present big hurdles
Since its formation in 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has attracted international interest. Its classification, influence and outlook have divided analysts. The last few years have been particularly interesting. Following the oil price collapse in 2014, some commentators wrote OPEC’s obituary. They announced that time was up for the group, which had “practically stopped existing as a united organization,” to use the words of Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.
When OPEC managed to reach a deal in December 2016 with non-OPEC producers led by Russia to form the so-called OPEC+, it regained much of its political and economic clout.