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Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
An international organization founded in 1960 whose members collaborate on the production and exportation of oil. Members meet several times a year to discuss oil prices and ways to bring them to an optimal level for members. OPEC has a great influence over the world's oil supply as the organization sets production quotas for member nations. Cutting production tends to result in higher oil prices while raising production tends to lower them. Many of OPEC's member nations are heavily reliant on oil to fund their economies and, as a result, tend to prefer high prices. On the other hand, other members (though the groups overlap) suffer high inflation rates when oil prices are too high. As a result, there is often tension between so-called "price hawks" and other members. See also: Brent blend.