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Total crude oil production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an important factor that affects global oil prices. OPEC has historically sought to actively manage oil production among its members by setting production targets by member. As a result, since OPEC's inception, crude oil prices have typically increased when OPEC members agreed to reduce production targets.

OPEC member countries produce about 40 percent of the world's crude oil. Equally important to global prices, OPEC's oil exports represent about 60 percent of the total petroleum traded internationally. Because of this market share, OPEC's actions can, and do, influence international oil prices. In particular, indications of changes in crude oil production from Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer and the member that traditionally has had the largest swing capacity, frequently affect oil prices.

Source: US Energy Information Administration

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