Oil Price Movements

Crude Oil is an attractive instrument for traders and investors around the globe and one of the biggest resources in the world. Keeping up with crude oil markets requires a keen attention to details as well as patience in what is typically a volatile industry.

This infographic will explore some of the key historical events that contributed to the fluctuating crude oil prices throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as well as a look at future predictions of the commodity market.


George Bissell and Edwin L. Drake made the first successful use of a drilling rig at a site on Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania.


Captain Anthony Francis Lucas discovered oil at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas.


The US, government sued Standard Oil Company under the Sherman

Antitrust Act; in 1911, it was ordered to separate itself of its major holdings into 33 smaller companies.


Oil discovered in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.


A record low of $1.17 in February 1946.


Ghawar Field discovered in Saudi Arabia - the largest conventional oil field in the world contains about 80 billion barrels.


Oil discovered in Algeria and Nigeria. The Suez Crisis threatened British and French stock holdings in the Suez Canal Company as well as cut off Oil Europe's oil supply.


5 oil-producing countries - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, formed OPEC.


Arab Oil Embargo on the United States - oil prices rose from $2.90 to $11.65.


Iraq invades Iran, during this time, crude oil prices increased from $14 per barrel in 1978 to $35 per barrel in 1981.


The Iran-Iraq War ended in August. Oil production resumed.


Saddam Hussein launched the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The price of oil spiked due to the Gulf War.


The Asian economic crisis, increased inventory and OPEC's wariness to reduce quotas leads to a steady decline in oil price.

2001 - 2003

The September 11th attacks raised concerns about the stability of the Middle East's production.


U.S. oil imports at a record 11.3 MMBO per day in July.


Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the U.S. with devastating results.


Oil hit a record high of S78.40/BBL on NYMEX on supply and world political concerns.


Crude oil price hit a record high - over $147.27 per barred in July. The global financial crisis caused prices to plummet 781% from July to December.


U.S. output reached its highest level in more than 100 years. Prices hover near $50 a barrel as of July 22.

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