OPEC's Rise to Power

Inside This Section:
OPEC Overview
Before OPEC
OPEC's Rise to Power
OPEC Price Fixing
OPEC - U.S. Sovereign Status Part 1
OPEC - U.S. Sovereign Status Part 2: Challenges
OPEC's Influence on the U.S.


Not until 1973 and the advent of the Yom Kippur War between Syria/Egypt and Israel did OPEC truly flex its international muscle, but when they did they would change the international landscape permanently.

In an effort to punish Western countries for their support of Israel in that war, OPEC chose to use oil as their weapon of punishment. They began making a series of decisions regarding crude oil production, distribution and prices which culminated in an all-out oil embargo, chiefly to the US and the Netherlands.

The embargo itself lasted only four months, from mid-October 1973 until mid-March 1974, but in that time OPEC raised the price of crude oil significantly while drastically cutting back production. Member nations, having exerted their power, became incredibly wealthy and would ride the wave into the 1980s.

The embargo irrevocably changed the face of global economics and politics, and I will review some of the immediate and lasting effects in the influence of OPEC.

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