here is a first time for everything. This illustrated student’s guide
to the oil industry is certainly an exciting first for OPEC. Similarly,
preparing an introduction for it is a first for me. But it is a task of great
This book is not only about an industry that is central to the way we
live today—and to the creation of economic opportunities around the
world—it addresses people who will become the business and political
leaders of tomorrow.
Whether they live in oil consuming or producing countries like
OPEC’s own Member Countries, the words in this book are directed
at young people everywhere. The challenges of our world will someday
be yours; and the more you know and understand about the world’s
most important energy source—oil—the better prepared you will be to
respond to the challenges of the future.
Learning about the history of OPEC and its growing role in the
international community is also important. In many ways, the story of
OPEC is the modern history of oil. Since its founding in 1960, OPEC
has consistently sought to bring stability to the oil market. It has also
tried to help others understand the workings of the oil industry, the
activities of its Member Countries and many other aspects of a global
Now, more than 50 years later, OPEC continues to look for
opportunities to further understanding, especially among the world’s
young people.
I sincerely hope you will enjoy this book. It aims to make learning about
the oil industry—and OPEC’s role in it—interesting.
It is with great pride that we present this book. It is my hope that after
reading it, the oil industry will start to become as compelling to you as
it has been for me, and the many men and women who have worked in
it for many, many years.
Abdalla Salem El-Badri
Secretary General
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