By Fahimeh Karimi
On November 21, Federica Simone led a group of 18 McDaniel students on an educational trip to Vienna to visit one of the world’s leaders in the petroleum industry, OPEC.
We arrived at Vienna West Bahnhof around 12:30 p.m. Then the McDaniel students divided into two groups to have a short excursion around the city. After a small lunch we decided to meet up to catch a train to the OPEC organization, which is in the heart of Vienna.
We passed the right station, but instead of freaking out, we got to enjoy the city for a longer time. We arrived at OPEC about 25 minutes late.
We were welcomed with friendly and warm Middle Eastern smiles, cookies and coffee, even though we arrived later than the predicted time. Their hospitality reminded me of my home country; where being on time is not really a matter of life or death. We were guided to a big hall to enjoy listening to a nice presentation about the organization. They talked about their activities, missions and the organization’s 50 year of history.
OPEC is the abbreviated form of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its Member Countries to ensure the stabilization of Oil markets. OPEC’s mission is to secure efficient and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry. In September of 1960, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela founded OPEC in Baghdad, Iraq. Later, Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, UAE, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador , Gabon and Angola joined the organization. Some of them have suspended their membership and currently the organization has 12 Member Countries.
The OPEC Secretariat, located in Vienna, is responsible for all of the resolutions passed and carried out by the Board of Governors.
We watched a video presentation about OPEC’s history. At the end of the presentation, students were given an extra time to ask questions. Some students asked about the internships and some asked about the future goals of OPEC towards energy and substitution of petroleum for Green Energy. We got quite interesting answers which are mostly explained in details on www.OPEC.org. In the afternoon, we split up to visit the Vienna Christmas Market to put an end to our exciting Vienna trip.