The Start of the First Oil Shock

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On October 17th 1973, OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to use the price of oil as a weapon against the West. This was done due to the West's support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War earlier that month.

On the previous day, several countries - Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Abu Dhabi - had already increased prices by 17% to $3.65 per barrel and reduced production.

By the time the embargo ended in March of the next year, oil prices had nearly quadrupled, from $3 to $12. The resulting higher prices, and lack of oil, caused serious problems in the Western world. Since then, fuel consumption, especially in American cars which were typically heavy on fuel, has been more important in car manufacture.

Image: By David Falconer, Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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