Myth of spare capacity setting the stage for another oil shock

03/20/2000
The fundamental driver of the 20th century's economic prosperity has been an abundant supply of cheap oil. At first, it came largely from the US as it opened up its extensive territories with dynamic capitalism and technological prowess. But its discovery rate peaked around 1930 and inevitably led to a corresponding peak in production about 40 years later. The focus of supply shifted to the Middle East, as its resources were tapped by the international companies. Those companies, however, soon lost their control in a series of expropriations as the host governments sought a greater share of the proceeds. In 1973, some Middle East governments used their control of oil as a weapon in th...
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