When they meet in December 1982, the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will decide whether they can hold their cartel together for another year, or whether their attempt to keep both prices high and all production going has failed. The OPEC countries produced in 1982 only about 60 percent of the oil they pumped before the quadrupling of prices in 1973, and by 1982 even prices were beginning to be under pressure. Indeed, a strong case can be made that OPEC is declining just the way cartels have always declined.