chapter
The oil crisis
Pages 5

The 1973-4 oil crisis was precipitated by the Yom Kippur War between Israel and the Arab states. OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which at that point was dominated by the Arab states, objected to the West’s support of Israel and imposed a sudden increase in oil prices. This had a dramatic effect on the industrialised economies: they suddenly realised how reliant they had become on imported oil. Over the next decade strenuous technical efforts were made both to find other sources of oil and to diversify away from oil, although equally strenuous political, and in some cases military, efforts were also made to secure access to Middle East oil.