Mikdashi, Zuhayr
January 1974
International Organization (00208183);Winter74, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
This article is an interpretation of economic and political forces affecting cooperation among oil exporting countries. The analysis focuses on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), notably on its Arab and Middle East members. It reviews salient characteristics of the world oil industry, describes the institutional framework of oil exporting countries' cooperation, discusses solidarity among Arab countries and between Arab and non-Arab countries, and evaluates the performance of collective efforts. In the last few decades, petroleum has been a relatively high growth industry-growing at the rate of 7 to 8 percent per year. It has substantially increased its share of the energy market, encroaching notably on higher cost coal. Its uses have also multiplied, so that it has now become-besides a major source of energy-an important supplier of feedstock to the chemical, fertilizer, and synthetics industries. It is the leader in value and volume among internationally traded commodities. Competing forms of energy, notably nuclear power, are not expected to threaten the position of petroleum before the turn of the century.


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