Understand the world's historic oil crisis

Unlike a few decades ago, we know today that oil is an exhaustible natural resource. That is, the closer it comes to the end, the more expensive it becomes, a factor that results in a major financial dispute. In addition, the Middle East holds the largest oil reserves, while the United States and Europe are the largest consumers, which leads to several conflicts between these regions to this day.

The oil crisis occurred just at a time when exporting countries and members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Persian Gulf prevented the distribution of the raw material to the U.S. and European countries – this has occurred three times since World War II. Thus, more specifically, the crisis began in the 1970s, when it was also discovered that oil is not renewable. Consequently, the price of the product suffered several price increases, causing repercussions in the market.

The first moment of crisis occurred in 1956, when egypt's president nationalized the Suez Canal, owned by an Anglo-French company, causing supply in western countries to be halted and causing a further price increase. The second moment was in 1973, with the Yom Kippur War, which generated a protest at the U.S. support for Israel. The third occurred during the political crisis in Iran that disorganized the production sector in the country.

Already in 1991 began the Gulf War, where a confrontation involving Kuwait, Iraq and the U.S. caused fires in Kuwaiti oil wells, causing a major ecological and financial impact. Finally, the fifth moment of crisis was very recent: in 2008, speculative movements of global scale caused the price of the product to rise 100% between the first six months of the year.


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