Last Friday, the OPEC meeting being held in Vienna broke up in what has been widely described as "disarray". A group of OPEC members, led by Iran and Venezuela, vetoed plans for an increase in the world production of oil. Think of the words "supply", "demand", and "elasticity". and you can guess what they were thinking.
Saudi Arabia then announced that it would step up to the plate and increase its production to meet world demand. It'll no doubt be assisted by some of its Gulf allies.
OPEC was founded in September 1960, with 5 member countries. Today, this cartel has 12 members - Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Yes, make no mistake about it - OPEC is literally a cartel. It determines the supply and price of crude oil. Let's take a closer look.