OPEC: 10 Years After the Arab Oil Boycott

Archive Report

Opec's New Dilemma

Fluctuating Situation Since 1973 Embargo

Nearly a decade has passed since a small group of developing nations precipitated the most profound economic crisis of the postwar period and began what was to become the greatest transfer of wealth in history. The industrialized nations, which had based their economies on the assumption of limitless supplies of oil, were caught by surprise when the then little-known Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) exercised its newly acquired authority as the world's main supplier of crude to raise the price for its “black gold.”1

Observers of the events leading to the first oil shock did not immediately grasp their significance. Outraged by Israel's territorial gains in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Arab oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia, ...

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