was in retaliation for the US and western government support of Israel in the
Yom Kippur War which had broken out earlier in the month.
Arab dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said oil exports
would be reduced by 5% every month until Israel left the territory that they had
gained in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. Israel refused to be intimidated.
December, a full embargo of oil to the US and other nations was introduced. It
caused an energy crisis the likes the world had never seen before. The price of
a barrel of oil quadrupled. Long queues of people trying to get fuel from the
pumps made headlines on news programs.
were attempting to use political leverage against Israeli dominance in the Middle
East after early signs that Israel was easily pushing back the attack of fellow
Arab, but non-OPEC, nations, Egypt and Syria.
immediate crisis ended in March 1974, after Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State,
negotiated a military de-escalation between Israel and Syria. The price of oil
did not drop, however. In the early 1980's oil was 10 times what it had been at
the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War.
the mid 1980's, OPEC's influence over the oil price was in decline as Western
governments increased the use of nuclear, coal, and natural gas, and developed
non-OPEC oil fields.