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OPEC oil price annually 1960-2020

Published by N. Sönnichsen,
The preliminary average annual OPEC oil price stood at 40.47 U.S. dollars per barrel as of October 2020. The abbreviation OPEC stands for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and as of March 2020 it includes Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and the United Arab Emirates. The aim of the OPEC is to coordinate the oil policies of its member states. It was founded in 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Benchmark crude oil prices

The OPEC crude oil price is defined by the price of the so-called OPEC (Reference) Basket. This basket is an average of prices of the various petroleum blends that are produced by the OPEC members. Some of these oil blends are, for example: Saharan Blend from Algeria, Basra Light from Iraq, Arab Light from Saudi Arabia, BCF 17 from Venezuela, et cetera. By increasing and decreasing its oil production, OPEC tries to keep the price between given maxima and minima.
The OPEC Basket is one of the most significant benchmarks for crude oil prices worldwide. The most important are UK Brent, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot prices, and Dubai Crude (Fateh). Because there are many types and grades of oil, such benchmarks are indispensable for referencing them on the global oil market.

Average annual OPEC crude oil price from 1960 to 2020

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Release date

December 2020



Survey time period

1960 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Data for 2020 is preliminary as of October.
The prices are annual averages of selected OPEC crude oils (OPEC basket).

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