The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) was founded on the basis of the agreement in Beirut, Lebanon on 9 January 1968 between the three governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait and the (then) Kingdom of Libya.
  • The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was formed in Baghdad in 1960, with 12 member petroleum producing members including Arab and non-Arab countries. OPEC's objective is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among its member countries, and to identify best approaches to protect their individual and collective interests. The Organization seeks the optimal message to secure price stability in global market, so as to eliminate address and unnecessary volatility. The Organization further endeavors to help member countries boosted their development plans by gaining fixed income from their exports.
  • Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) From the list of current OAPEC members 6 are members of OPEC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and Algeria .

OAPEC Headquarters is located in the State of Kuwait.  

The General Secretariat of OAPEC plans, administers, and executes the Organization's activities in accordance with the objectives stated in the Agreement  and directives of the Ministerial Council. The General Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General, and may be aided by a number of Assistant Secretaries no more than three according to the General Secretariat statute. The Secretary General is the official spokesman and legal representative of the Organization and is accountable to the Council.  

The Secretary General directs the Secretariat and supervises all aspects of its activities, and is responsible for the tasks and duties as directed by the Ministerial Council.  The Secretary General and all personnel of the Secretariat carry out their duties in full independence and in the common interests of the Organizations member countries.  The Secretary General possesses in the territories of the Organization members all diplomatic immunities and privileges. 

The General Secretariat composed of the following:

  • The Secretary General's Office: ( Duties are missing) The Arab Center for Energy Studies: The Technical and the Economics Departments, together, comprise the Arab Centre for Energy Studies, as well as Data Bank.
  • The Technical Affairs Department: The Technical Affairs Department monitors and prepares studies on developments as well as other sources of energy. It also organizes and participates in the relevant conferences, and seminars. It manages environmental issues at Arab and global levels. In addition the department carries out the organizational tasks related to the OAPEC Award for Scientific Research.
  • The Economics Department: The Economics Department conducts research and presents studies related to petroleum economics and energy affairs at Arab and worldwide. The Department participates in the preparations for the Arab Energy Conference (AEC).
  • The Information and Library Department: The Information and Library Department carries out the Organization's media activity by publishing books and periodical, monitoring the energy affairs and economics related issue in the Arab and international press. The Department carries out documentation bibliographical, and current awareness services, as well as providing the researches from within an outside the General Secretariat with books and periodicals acquired.
  • Finance and Administrative Affairs Department: The Department consists of the following sections: The Accounting and Financial Affairs section monitors the compliance of actual expenditure with amount approved in the OAPEC budget, for both the General Secretariat and the Judicial Board, and prepares the year-end accounts to be approved by the Executive Bureau and the Council of Ministers. The Personnel Section supervises implementation of OAPEC's by-laws concerning staff affairs. The Public Relations Section is entrusted with providing for proper working conditions in the Organization.

Since its inception, OAPEC has sponsored the creation of four companies, which operate in the vital petroleum industry sector. This was attained while member countries allocated a percentage of their financial returns for founding and launching projects.  The principal objective of founding of the four companies is to build cooperation bridges amongst member countries to achieve mutual benefit for the shareholders upon incorporation, and economic fundamentals were considered in the entire process.

OAPEC continues to spot opportunities for cooperation, and preparation of feasibility studies for proposed projects to be submitted to the Ministerial Council for decision. Thereafter, OAPEC contributes to gathering the parties concerned with the projects to convene their constituent assembly meetings.

These ventures operated in accordance with the practices adopted in the shareholding companies through two main organs: General Assembly, Board of Directors, where the General Manager is in charge of all executive affairs. 

A brief summary of the four companies as follow:

Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC)

The Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC) was established in Kuwait on January 1973, with an authorized and paid-up capital of $500 million. As a result of a decline in oil tanker demand, the company reduced shareholders equity in the 1980's. Authorized  and  paid-up capital was reduced to $200 million and  subscribed capital to $150 million. 

The activities of the company were defined as covering all operations related the marine transportation of hydrocarbons by filling the vacuum in the transfer, and to overcome foreign monopoly predominant.  

The company commenced the operation in the mid- seventies in unfavorable market conditions due to imbalanced supply/demand equation in the maritime transport markets, making it a difficult commencement for the company.  The company needs financial support by shareholder companies to ensure its business continuity.    

Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY)

The Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY), was established in December 1973, the company was set-up in Bahrain with an authorized capital $34 million, and a paid-up capital amounted to $170 million. 

The company's objective is to cover all operations of building, repairing and maintaining all types of ships, tankers, other maritime vessels for transporting hydrocarbons, and offshore exploration platforms, this includes repairing industrial equipments and heavy electrical equipment and manufacturing steel structures and pressure tanks for offshore and onshore purposes. 

The dry dock project was first conceived in 1968, with the aim of building and operating as well equipped and efficient repair, with sufficient capacity to accommodate the VLCC/ULCC's serving the Arabian Gulf oil terminals.  The dry dock was completed and began operating in 1977, even though the worldwide ship repair was undergoing a period of intense competition and over-capacity. ASRY has succeeded in manufacturing, marketing, and processing, that the dry dock keeps fully occupied and semi continuous.  

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)

APICORP was officially formed in Dammam, Saudi Arabia in November 1975, with an authorized capital of the Corporation was $1.200 billion, with $400 million subscribed. In May 2003, the paid up capital was raised to $550 million, with all OAPEC member countries as shareholders.

The purpose of APICORP is to assist in the financing of projects related to the petroleum industry, and in fields of activity which are derived there from ancillary to associated with or complementary to such projects and industries as well as giving priority to Arab Joint Ventures.

APICORP conducts its operations on a commercial and economic basis with the intention of generating profit.

Arab Petroleum Services Company (APSCO)

APSCO was formally founded in Tripoli, Libya, in January 1977, with an authorized capital of 100 million Libyan dinars. The task of APSCO was to provide petroleum services by carting subsidiaries, which specialize in one or more branches of petroleum services.  APSCO has thus far established three subsidiaries as follows:- 

The Arab Drilling and workover company (ADWOC)

ADWOC was established in Tripoli, Libya, in February 1980 with an authorized and fully paid capital LD 12 million. The company is the main subsidiary of the Arab Petroleum Services Company which owns 40% of its equity. The mission of ADWOC involves onshore and offshore drilling operations,  well maintenance, drilling water wells, and performing other technical operations associated with drilling in member countries, as well as other countries in competition terms and  profitability endeavors.  Moreover, ADWOC provides training programs for Arab experts and technicians to improving and developing the quality management system in line with oil industry.   

ADOWC owns seventeen drilling rigs operating in Libya, Syria, and Jordan. It has also established workshops, storage facilities, and division for the maintenance and testing of equipment, supply of rigs, and the production of oxygen and nitrogen.  

Arab Well Logging Company (AWLCO)

AWLCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Arab Petroleum Services Company that was embellished in Baghdad, Iraq in March 1983, with an authorized capital of Iraqi Dinars 7 million (about $23.4 Million).  AWLCO  specializes in performing well drilling and perforation operations, and other well-related technical operations necessary for the discovery and development of oil fields in Arab oil producing countries. Certainly AWLCO and its sister companies  located in the republic of Iraq, has been severely affected by the current situation and the UN economic siege imposed upon Iraq, as well as looting that followed Iraq liberation in April 2003.     

 The Arab Geophysical Exploration Services (AGESCO)

The company was established in 1984, in Tripoli, Libya. The Arab Petroleum Services company has 40% stake in the company of its authorized capital of LD12 million, and a paid-up capital of LD 4 million.  AGESCO performs geophysical surveys using the latest technology.  Arab Technical staff represent 90% of total manpower, the company successfully attracted nemours  specialized Arab elements in geophysical surveys.   

 Arab Petroleum Training Institute (APTI)

APTI was established in Baghdad, Iraq, in May 1978, to prepare instructors qualified to provide training in the many technical aspects of the oil industry, and to augment the administrative and technical personal responsible for the different fields of the industry.  The other objectives of APTI include performing research and conducting studies related to the modern techniques of industrial organization, and the methodology and techniques of training education, as well as the creation of a central information and documentation system.  

The Organization issues five periodicals in both Arabic and English; Secretary General's Annual Report, Annual Statistical Report, OAPEC Monthly Bulletin, Oil and Arab Cooperation (Quarterly Journal), and the Quarterly Report "Energy Resources Monitor", in addition to a number of publications includes Arab oil fields surveys,  Exploration and Production activities, development of Arab refining industry, proceedings of seminars and meetings organized by the General Secretariat,  as well as contributing to the update of Energy Dictionary committee of World Energy Council in which OAPEC is a member. 

OAPEC comprises 10 member countries:  Kuwait, Libya, and Saudi Arabia (1968), in (1970) Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, in (1972) Syria, Iraq, in (1973) Egypt.  In (1982) Tunisia joined but requested  to withdraw in 1986.  The OAPEC Council of Ministers agreed to suspend Tunisia's rights and obligations in OAPEC but not its membership, leaving the door open for its return to reactivate its membership
The Ministerial Council is the Supreme authority of the Organization, responsible for drawing up its general policy, directing its activity, and laying down the rules governing it.  The Council is composed of petroleum ministers or comparable officials from each of the member countries.  The Council convenes at least twice a year, extraordinary sessions may be convened at the request of a member country or the Secretary General. The chairman of the Council rotates annually among the representatives in the alphabetical order to their countries.

The Council is concerned with the following:

  • Deciding on applications for membership.
  • Adopting resolutions, making recommendations, and advising on matters related to the Organization's general policy.
  • Approving draft agreements reached by the Organization, and issuing the necessary regulations and amendments thereto
  • Approving the draft annual budgets of the General Secretariat and the Judicial Tribunal, and ratifying the end-of-year accounts.
  • Adopting all provisions not exclusively set forth in the OAPEC founding agreement.
The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), is a regional inter-governmental organization.  The  principal objective of the Organization is the cooperation of the members in various forms of economic activity in the petroleum industry, the determination of ways and means of safeguarding the legitimate interests of its member countries in this industry, individually and collectively, the unification of efforts to ensure the flow of petroleum to its markets on equitable and reasonable terms, and the creation of a suitable climate for the investment of capital and expertise in the petroleum industry in the member countries.

At the Arab level, OAPEC is keenly desirous to solidify relations with peer Arab organizations and has coordinating relations with Arab League, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Fund, and Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization. Those organizations cooperate with OAPEC in holding the "Arab Energy Conference" . 

The objectives of the AEC are the following:

  • To establish and Arab institutional framework for oil and energy issues in order to develop a pan-Arab perspective.
  • To coordinate relations among Arab institutions concerned with energy development.
  • To study present and future Arab energy requirements and the means of satisfying them.
  • To identify and assess existing Arab resources and the efforts exerted to develop energy sources, as well as the coordination and development of such efforts.
  • To identify and evaluate the impact of international energy policies on the Arab countries.

To date nine meetings of the conference have been convened as follows:

  • The First AEC meeting was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in March 1979
  • The Second AEC meeting was held in Doha, Qatar, in March 1982
  • The Third AEC was held in Algiers, Algeria, in May 1985
  • The Fourth AEC meeting was held in Baghdad, Iraq, in March 1988
  • The Fifth AEC meeting was held in Cairo, Egypt, in May 1994
  • The Sixth AEC meeting was convened in Damascus, Syria in May 1998
  • The Seventh AEC meeting was held in Cairo, Egypt in May 2002
  • The Eighth AEC meeting was held Amman, Jordan in May 2006
  • The Ninth AEC meeting was convened in Doha, Qatar in May 2010
  • The Tenth AEC meeting will be held in Tripoli, Libya in October 2014

OAPEC continues to maintain closer ties of cooperation with Arab organizations such as:  Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Industrial Investments.OAPEC participates in the preparation of "Joint Arab Economic Report", with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and the Arab Monetary Fund issued annually.    

At an International level, OAPEC endeavors to strengthen its contacts and ties institutions outside Arab world so as to present Arab perspective on energy, development, and environmental issues.  It explores possibilities of cooperation among its members, and net oil importing industrialized and developing countries. The organization also fosters contacts that facilitate access to new scientific and technological developments in the field of energy,OAPEC maintains its international contacts through specialized scientific seminars, international conferences, such as the World Energy congress, and the World Gas Conference.

The Organization's cooperates with several international energy bodies and intuitions including OPEC, International Petroleum, World Energy Council (WEC), United Nations (UN), particularly the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Institute Francais du Petrol (IFP), Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum (JCCP), International Energy Forum  (IEF), and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), OAPEC is a founding member of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), established in December 1982.

OAPEC foundation agreement allows accession to its membership by any Arab oil exporting country, provided that petroleum should constitute a significant source of its national income, to accept the provisions of this agreement and any amendments thereto, and the Ministerial Council must approve its membership by a majority of three-quarters of the votes provided all the votes of the founding members are included in the procedure of membership as a new member. 

The Executive Bureau is composed of one representative from each of the member countries rotates annually in alphabetical order each for a period of one year followed by the Ministerial Council meeting. The Executive Bureau may be convened twice a year at the request of the chairman or Secretary General.

The Executive Bureau competencies with the following:

  • Consider matters relating to the application of the Organization's Agreement and its performance of its activities by submitting recommendations and suggestions to the Council.
  • Approving and when necessary amending the regulations applicable to the staff of the General Secretariat.
  • Reviewing the Organization's draft annual budget as prepared by the Secretary General and submitting it to the Council for approval.
  • Preparing the Council Agenda and perform tasks may be assigned to it by the Council.

In 1985, OAPEC's Ministerial Council initiated incentive award  "OAPEC Award for Scientific Research".  The award aimed at encouraging scientific research in oil industry and other energy resources.  The award divided into two prizes consists, of KD 7000 and KD 5000, and a certificate of appreciation is also awarded by the Ministerial Council.  

Researches' are presented to Arbitration committee to determine the award winning research.  During the period 1987–1994 awards were given every year, however, it has been resolved to grant researchers a longer period to provide more accurate and better quality research work, therefore it was decided to grant the award on a bi-annual basis. The Executive Bureau selects the topic theme of the award in line of topics suggested by the General secretariat concurrence with the latest development in various energy industries.  

The Organization carries out its functions through its four organs, the Ministerial Council, the Executive Bureau, the General Secretariat, and the Judicial Tribunal.  

The protocol of the Judicial Tribunal was signed in Kuwait on 9 May 1978 and came into effect on 20 April 1980.  The Tribunal competent to consider all disputes related to the interpretation and application of OAPEC's Establishment Agreement.  Parties to such disputed may be OAPEC member countries, the OAPEC- Sponsored Ventures.  The Tribunal is also competent to consider any disputes which the council refers to it, as well as disputes arising between two or more member countries concerning petroleum operations which fall within the actual activities involved so long as they do not infringe on the sovereignty of any of the countries concerned. 

The Tribunal composed of seven part-time Arab judges, but not exceed eleven judges to be selected  by the Ministerial Council among persons of unquestioned impartiality who are eligible to hold the highest judicial posts in their countries or are jurists of international repute.