It is forty years since the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC effectively held the US to ransom.
It was October and following Israeli military successes OPEC banned oil exports to Israel’s supporters – the US and the Netherlands.
The result was a tightening of the oil markets, leading to a 400 percent rise. The ripples spread to become a tidal wave as winter approached. There were crippling price hikes and a devastating economic recession. The embargo was lifted after five months.
It still serves as a vivid example of the dangers of US oil dependence and led to changes in the OPEC which lost its powerful global position.
Analysts say the oil market remains the largest in volume and value of trade and investment and it was transformed by the OPEC whose members nationalised the companies that took entrepreneurial risk to find and develop the resources.
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