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Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Contries
Departement of Information


KUWAIT. 1976


Algerian Democratic People ’s Republic
State of Barhain
Arab republic of Egypt
Republic of Iraq
State of Kuwait
Libyan Arab Republic
State of Qatar
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Republic
United Arab Emirates


Origin and Membership 6

Purposes and Objectives 7

Organs of the Organization 8

1. The Council of Ministers

2. The Executive Bureau

3. The Secretariat

4. The Judicial Board


Achievements of OAPEC 13

1. The Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Compagny (AMPTC)

2. The Arab shipbuilding and repair Yard Compagny (ASRY)

3. The Arab Petroleum investements Corporation (APIC)

4. The Arab Petroleum Services Compagny (APSC)

Publications 18

Plan for the futur 20

Appendix I List of Member states 24

Appendix II List of Publications 25

Origin and Membership :

On Shawwal 9, 1387 H. (january 9, 1968 A.D.), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya conclued in Beirut an agreement among them founding the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC). Algeria, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain joined the Organization in May 1970. Membership at this stage was limited to Arab countries where oil forms the main source of national income. On december 9, 1971 the first paragrah of the Seventh Article of the OAPEC founding Agreement was amended to read that membership is open to any Arab Country for whom petroleum forms an important source of national income, instead of the previous stipulation. This change permitted Syria and Egypt to join OAPEC in 1972 and 1973 respectively. In may 1972, Dubai withdrew from the organization ; and in june 1974, Abu Dhabi tranformed its membership from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Iraq joined in 1972. Thus, by 1973 the Organization’s membership had increased from three to ten and nearly included all the oil procucers in the Arab World. These are : (in Arab alphabetical order) United Arab Emirates. State of Barhain. Algerian Democratic Poeple’s Republic. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Syrian Arab Republic. Republic of Iraq. State of Qatar. State of Kuwait. Libyan Arab Republic. The Arab Republic of Egypt (for basic information on member coutries see Appendix I)

Purpose and Objectives :

Article 2 of the agreement of OAPEC defined its basic objectives. These are :

a) Coordination of the petroleum policies of its members.

b) Harmonization of the legal systems of the member countries to the extent necessery to enable the Organization to carry out its activities.

c) Assitance to members in the exchange of information and expertise and providing training and employment oppotunities for their nationals.

d) Promotion of cooperation among membres in working out solutions to problems facing them in petroleum industry.

e) Utilizing member’s resources and common potentialities to establish joint projects in various stages of petroleum industry.

Organs of the organization :

OAPEC carries its functions and responsibilities through the following four organs :

1. The Council of Ministers : concist of the petroleum ministers of the members countries and is the highest authority of the Organization, responsible for drawing up its general policy, directing its activity and laying down the rules governing it. Its main responsabilities are :

a) Deciding on applications to join membership.

b) Taking resolutions, making recommendations and giving directives with regard to the general policy of the Organization or vis-a-vis a particular situation or issue.

c) Approving draft agreements reached by the Organization.

d) Approving the Organization’s annual budget.

e) Appointing the Secretary General and Assistant Secretaries.

The Council convenes in regular sessions twice a year or in extraordinary sessions at the request of one of the members or the Secretary General.

2. The Executive Bureau : consists of under-secretaries to the ministries of petroleum of the member states. Its main functions are to draw up agendas for the Council ; review the annual budget of the Organization ; approve the staff regulations of the Secretariat and introduce appropriate amendments thereto ; and to handle such tasks as may be assigned by the Council. Its work is carried out after consultation with the Secretary General and acts as intermediary between the Council and the Secretary of the Organization. Its meetings usually precede those of the Council. The Chairmanship of both is by rotation according to the Arabic alphabetical order of the member contries, each for a period of one year.

3. The Secreteriat : The Secreteriat assumes the planning and executive aspects of the Organization’s activities. It administers the programs and policies laid down by the Council and the Executive Bureau. It is headed by a Secretary General aided by Assitant Secretaries who cannot exceed three. The Secretary General shall be appointed for a period of three years extendable for a further period or periods. He supervises the work of the Organization. Staff members are chosen for their qualifications from all Arab countries, members and non-members of the Organization. In the performence of their duties they work for the Organization as a whole ; each takes an oath not to seek or accept instructions from any government or non-governmental body.

The secreteriat is compose of the following departments : Economic, Hydrocarbon Industries, Energy, Legal, Information and Public Relations, Library, Training, Administrative and Financial. Beside the regular staff of these departments, a number of qualified advisers and technical experts are chosen by the Secretary General on a full-time or a part-time basis to assist whit the work and development of the Organization.

4. The Judicial Board : Althrough the Judicial Board is not yet established, it will be chosen from persons who fulfill the necessary conditions for holding the highest positions in their countries or are jurists of international repute. The Judicial Board is meant as an arbitration concil between members, or between any member and a petroleum compagny operating in the territory of the said member. The judgements of the Board are final, binding on the parties to the dispute and enforceable in the territories of the members.


While both organizations deal with the commodity of oil yet they differ as to origin, purpose, scope of action and membership.

The Organization Of Petroleum Countries was established in 1960 to defend the interests and rights of its member states vis-a-vis the major oil compagnies. Its first aim when founded was to prevent the decline of oil prices - which the compagnies were able to control - and negotiate better terms with them.

The price of oil in its various aspects and negotiations of relations with the oil compagnies remained the prerogatives of OPEC. They are pressing and immediate objectives. Its member states are 13 Arab and non-Arab : The Arab members - seven in member - are : Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Iraq, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The non-Arab are : Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Gabon, Ecuador.

OAPEC was established in 1968 in response to economic needs of the Arab states and reflecting basic development in the petroleum industry. Its objectives include, "the cooperation of the members in various forms of economic activity in the petroleum industry

and the realization of the closest ties among them in this field". OAPEC is thus primarily concerned with the long-term aspects of cooperation and interdependence among its members.

OAPEC’s relationship to OPEC is clearly defined in its founding Agreement. Article Three states that the "OAPEC Agreement shall not be demmed to affect the OPEC Agreement and especially in so far as the rights and obligations of OPEC members in respect of the organizations are concerned", and that "OAPEC members are bound by the ratified resolutions of OPEC even if an OAPEC member is not a member of OPEC".

Achievements of OAPEC

The achievements of OAPEC are due to a number of factors. Its membership which began with three coutries in 1968 (Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait) had increased to ten countries by 1973 whose combined population represents over 70 per cent of the Arab World’s and they possess even a greater share of this wealth. Their crude oil production represents over 60 per cent of OPEC total production and they have over two thirds of its known reseves. As individual countries they represent a variety of conditions with different resource base.

OAPEC has among its members the largest and the smallest oil producer (Saudi Arabia and Barhain), the most and least populated areas (Egypt and the United Arab Emirates). Some members have a considerable agriculture sector possessing considerable growth potential, such as Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Libya, while others have little or no agrarian base, such as Kuwait. Some members are geographically so close to Europe on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean, while others are centrally located on the Arabian Gulf.

While variety of conditions and resources present many difficulties for common action they also provide

unique opportunities for developing interdependence between OAPEC member states, which in turn, creates greater capacity for regional and international interdependence and cooperation.

OAPEC projects are planned on a medium and long-term basis ; one of the Organization’s first contributions has been to assist member states to integrate the oil sector with other sectors of their economies. This has proved to be beneficial not only to the member states but also to the arab states of the region and other states that deal with them. These factors combined together have enable OAPEC to succeed in achieving one of its basic objectives : economic development through the establishment of joint key economic projects. They comprise :

1 . The Arab Maritim Petroleum Transport Compagny

(AMPTC) : founded on january 6, 1973 with headquarters in Kuwait. The compagny’s authorized capital was fixed at $500 million, later raised in 1976 to $600 million, which is to be covered at the start of 1977. The subscribed capital is $100 million. The compagny’s founding Agreement provides that it undertakes all activities of maritim transport of hydocarbons. It can acquire tankers for crude, liquefied gas, refined products and petrochemicals. The compagny already owns two tankers "Riyadh" of 273,442 DWT and "Bubyan" of 141,020 DWT. Six others are under construction in France and West Germany. By march 1978, the Compagny will possess a fleet of over two million tons. The Compagny lays great emphasis on

training and development of able personnel with the necessary experience to operate the Compagny’s fleet. AMPTC commenced operations in mid-1975.

2 . The Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Compagny

(ASRY) : founded on december 1,1974 with headquarter in Barhain. Its authorized capital has been raised to $300 million and the subscribed to $100 million. The estimated number of technical workers needed to fulfill the first part of the drydock contract is 3000. After the completion of the first phase, the dock would be able to receive tankers up to 500,000 DWT. In addition to the drydock, the project is to include mechanical work-shop for repair works, a complex of administration buildings and a training school.

This project is a long-term one geared toward regional industrial development and technical vocational training. Although its establishment represents a trend in shifting industrial centers towards less developed areas, the dock is not meant to compete with already existing facilities, since there is a shortage of maintenance and repair facilities for super-tankers, especially in the region.

The Barhain drydock is an illustration of interdependence among states. It is a realization of an

ideal cooperation between oil-producing and industrialized countries, being located within one of the producing countries and servicing tankers belonging to both producers and consumers and carrying oil from centers of production to centers of consumption. Futhermore, the dock is a school of much needed practical experience, at a time when concerns which can offer such experience will be richly rewarded by projects such as the Barhain drydock.

3 . The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation

(APIC) : established on November 23, 1975 with an authorized capital of 3,600 million Saudi Riyals (U.S.S. one billion) and subscribed capital of 1,200 Saudi Riyals. Its headquarters are in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The compagny will, through loans or direct participation, finance petroleum and petrochemical projects in the member states and in other Arab states. First priority is to be given to projects in member countries connected with oil, then to similar projects in Arab areas. Preferences will be given to joint Arab projects. The Compagny will also advise member countries of the investment of their capital funds in such a way as to ensure economic and financial growth.

The establishment of this Compagny is in line with the object of developing the petroleum and petro-

chemical industries in the member states in such ways as would insure coordination of efforts for the achievement of continued progress in this field.

4. The Arab Petroleum Sercices Compagny (APSC) :

agreement came into force on August 21,1976. Its headquarters are in Tripoli, Libyan Arab Republic. Its authorized capital was fixed at 100 million Libyan Dinars and the subscribed capital at 15 million Libyan Dinars. Its objectives are to provide services through the establishment of one or more compagnies specializing in various petroleum services or other activities. It will also undertake to train specialized technical personnel from nationals of the member states. The posts offered will provide suitable career opportunities within the Compagny and its specialized branches. The activities of the Compagny and its subsidiaries will include : well drillind and maintenance ; well sounding and testing operations ; perforation operations ; well logging ; analysis of sample of well corings ; oil, gas and other products ; use of computers ; reservoir engineering and petroleum geology ; topographical surveys ; geophysical activities.

Publications :

The Organization issues a specialized Arab quarterly entitled "Oil and Arab Cooperation". Contributions either from OAPEC’s General Secretariat or from outside are scholars and qualified technicians in their respective fields. English summaries are given of the published articles in the quaterly. The first issue appeared in the summer of 1975.

Another regular publication, started in October 1975, is the monthly "News Bulletin" of OAPEC which appears in both Arabic and English. Its regular features comprise an "editorial", a "viewpoint" and an "annex", all of which deal with current and timely issues related to oil, on the international and Arab scene. The regular publications also include the "Annual Report of the Secretary General" which is divided into two main parts : the first deals with the major developments of the oil industry in the Arab World and internationally, the second deals with the activities of OAPEC in the various fields of its concern.

The attached list of OAPEC’s publications in Arabic,English and French reflect the efforts of all the Organization’s departments. They deal with various aspects of oil and energy, their relate and derivative issues with special emphasis on the Arab member countries.

OAPEC pays special attention to its publications and information program. As can be readily seen from the quarterly, the bulletin and the other publications, this is "specialized" information.

OAPEC’s future plans are derived on the one hand, from the objectives as defined in its text of Agreement, and on the other hand, in implementation of decisions passed by the Council of Ministers. Three parallel forms of activities are pursued.

1. The promotion of harmonization and coordination of the petroleum development policies of its member states as much as possible.

2. The promotion of research, training and exchange of information among member countries in the field of hydrocarbons.

3. The identification, promotion and establishment of key joint projects. Specifically, OAPEC is now undertaking studies on the following :

1. Training : Training has been emphazised as one of the major fields of activities. In fact article 2 para(c) stated : "The Organization shall in particular :

Assist members to exchange information and expertise and provide training and employment opportunities for citizens of members countries where such possibilities exist."

The Organization conducted a survey on manpower in the petroleum sector of the member states and their need between 1976 and 1980. As one of the results a unit for "training and manpower" has been set up within OAPEC in march 1976. Its tasks are :

a. To collect information on the development of manpower in the oil sector of the members and to exchange information among them.

b. To establish a system for the exchange of experts and technicians among the member states.

c. To establish a system for the training of manpower in the other member states whenever possible.

d. To establish a system which provides possiblities of work for nationals of member states in other member countries when available.

e. To coordonate efforts of the member states for the training and development of manpower needed for the present and future.

Furthermore, OAPEC is studying the possibility of establisching a regional center for the training of instructors. Training courses on all aspects of the oil industry are now yearly, given to new employees in the oil sector of the member states.

2. Energy : In implementation of a decision taken by the Council of Ministers in June 1973, the General Secretariat prepared a report on energy ; it dealt with the role of oil with respect to alternative sources of energy and the optimum use of oil. As follow up an energy division - witch previously was part of the Economic Department - was set up. The possibility of establishing an energy research institute is under study.

3. Refining : Following a seminar on refining convened by OAPEC and held in Damascus in October 1975 a standing committee drawn from the member states has been set up, and meets periodically. Its task includes the assessment of possibilities for coordination among member states in their refinery projects, and for establishing joint ventures among them along the lines of key compagnies already established.

4. Petrochemicals : Because of the existence of oil and gas as factor endowments, much of the industrialization in the Arab World centers on petrochemicals. In this field as in the previous one, the Organization studies the possibilities for future joint industrial projects among the member states, it continues to act as a source for the exchange of information, and prepares and publishes studies connected with this field.

4. The publications program : The publication program, which is to continue, reflects one of the major fields of its work. It also represents contributions from all departments of the Organization. This program is supervised and implemented by the Department of Information in close cooperation with other departments.





000’ b/d

000’ b/d

Algerian Democratic People’s Republic





State of Barhain





Arab Republic of Egypt





Republic of Iraq





State of Kuwait





Libyan Arab Republic





State of Qatar





Kingdom of Saudi Arabia





Syrian Arab Republic




9.9 million tons

United Arab Emirates










1. Agreement of OAPEC



2. A brief Report on the Activities and Achievements of the Organization 1968 - 1973.



3. Petroleum Technical Services



4. The Oil Crisis and Development of Energy Alternatives



5. Oppotunities for Cooperation between Britain and the Arab World



6. First Annual Statistical Report



7. The Secretary General’s First Annual Report. 1974



8. The Liquefied Gas Industry



9. Second Annual Statistical Report 1973-1974



10. A Report on Librairies and Documentation Centers in Six European Countries.



11. The Secretary General’s Second Annual Report, 1975



12. Oil in the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations.



13. Statistical Study of the OAPEC countries’ Foreign Trade with the Industrialized Countries, 1970-1974



14. Prospects of Introducing the Petro-Protein Industry in the Arab World



15. Third Annual Statistical Report, 1974-1975.



APPENDIX II (Continued)




16. Opportunities of Cooperation between France and the Arab World.



17. Prospects of Arab Refining Industry



18. Development of Energy Alternatives



19. Agreements of OAPEC and the Joint Compagnies



20. Fundamentals of Oil and Gas Industry. 3 volumes.



- Oil and Arab Cooperation, a quarterly journal with English Abstracts.



- OAPEC Bulletin, monthly



Postal Address

Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries

PO Box 20501 Safat

Kuwait City - KUWAIT

Cable Address


Telex Number


Telephone Numbers



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