Energy Information Administration
World Oil Market and Oil Price Chronologies: 1970
This chronology was orginally published by the Department of Energy's
Office of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Analysis Division.
Updates for 1995, 1996, and 1997 are from the Energy Information Administration. Please click here for a 1998 monthly chronology.
World Oil Price Chronology: 1970-1997
Original concept for the chart was by the Analysis Division in the Office of Management Operations; Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Modified and updated in May 1998 by the Office of Energy Markets and End Use in the Energy Information Administration.
- OPEC begins to assert power; raises tax rate & posted prices
- OPEC begins nationalization process; raises prices in response to falling US dollar.
- Negotiations for gradual transfer of ownership of western assets in OPEC countries
- Oil embargo begins
- OPEC freezes posted prices; US begins mandatory oil allocation
- Oil embargo ends
- Saudis increase tax rates and royalties
- US crude oil entitlements program begins
- OPEC announces 15% revenue increase effective October 1, 1975
- Official Saudi Light price held constant for 1976
- Iranian oil production hits a 27-year low
- OPEC decides on 14.5% price increase for 1979
- Iranian revolution; Shah deposed
- OPEC raises prices 14.5% on April 1, 1979
- US phased price decontrol begins
- OPEC raises prices 15%
- Iran takes hostages; President Carter halts imports from Iran; Iran cancels US contracts; Non-OPEC output hits 17.0 million b/d
- Saudis raise marker crude price from 19$/bbl to 26$/bbl
- Windfall Profits Tax enacted
- Kuwait, Iran, and Libya production cuts drop OPEC oil production to 27 million b/d
- Saudi Light raised to $28/bbl
- Saudi Light raised to $34/bbl
- First major fighting in Iran-Iraq War
- President Reagan abolishes remaining price and allocation controls
- Spot prices dominate official OPEC prices
- US boycotts Libyan crude; OPEC plans 18 million b/d output
- Syria cuts off Iraqi pipeline
- Libya initiates discounts; Non-OPEC output reaches 20 million b/d; OPEC output drops to 15 million b/d
- OPEC cuts prices by $5/bbl and agrees to 17.5 million b/d output
- Norway, United Kingdom, and Nigeria cut prices
- OPEC accord cuts Saudi Light price to $28/bbl
- OPEC output falls to 13.7 million b/d
- Saudis link to spot price and begin to raise output
- OPEC output reaches 18 million b/d
- Wide use of netback pricing
- Wide use of fixed prices
- Wide use of formula pricing
- OPEC/Non-OPEC meeting failure
- OPEC production accord; Fulmar/Brent production outages in the North Sea
- Exxon's Valdez tanker spills 11 million gallons of crude oil
- OPEC raises production ceiling to 19.5 million b/d
- Iraq invades Kuwait
- Operation Desert Storm begins; 17.3 million barrels of SPR crude oil sales is awarded
- Persian Gulf war ends
- Dissolution of Soviet Union; Last Kuwaiti oil fire is extinguished on November 6, 1991
- UN sanctions threatened against Libya
- Saudi Arabia agrees to support OPEC price increase
- OPEC production reaches 25.3 million b/d, the highest in over a decade
- Kuwait boosts production by 560,000 b/d in defiance of OPEC quota
- Nigerian oil workers' strike
- Extremely cold weather in the US and Europe
- U.S. launches cruise missile attacks into southern Iraq following an Iraqi-supported invasion of Kurdish safe haven areas in northern Iraq.
- Iraq begins exporting oil under United Nations Security Council Resolution 986.
- Prices rise as Iraq's refusal to allow United Nations weapons inspectors into "sensitive" sites raises tensions in the oil-rich Middle East.
- OPEC raises its production ceiling by 2.5 million barrels per day to 27.5 million barrels per day. This is the first increase in 4 years.
- World oil supply increases by 2.25 million barrels per day in 1997, the largest annual increase since 1988.
Click on the hotlinks below to go to the chronology for
a specific year:
| 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 |
| 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 |
| 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 |
| 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 |
| 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 |
| 1995 | 1996 | 1997 |
- Jan 1
- U.S. Federal oil depletion allowance reduced from 27.5 to
- May 3
- TAP line from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean interrupted
in Syria, creating all-time tanker rate highs from June to December.
- Sep 4 - Oct 9
- Libya raises posted prices and increases tax rate from 50
percent to 55 percent. Iran and Kuwait follow in November.
- Dec 9-12
- OPEC meeting in Caracas establishes 55 percent as minimum
tax rate and demands that posted prices be changed to reflect
changes in foreign exchange rates.
- Jan 12
- Negotiations begin in Tehran between 6 Gulf producing countries
and 22 oil companies.
- Feb 3-4
- OPEC mandates "total embargo" against any company
that rejects the 55 percent tax rate.
- Feb 14
- Tehran agreement signed. Companies accept 55 percent tax rate,
immediate increase in posted prices, and further successive increases.
- Feb 24
- Algeria nationalizes 51 percent of French oil concessions.
- Apr 2
- Libya concludes five weeks of negotiations with Western oil
companies in Tripoli on behalf of itself, Saudi Arabia, Algeria
and Iraq. Agreement raises posted prices of oil delivered to Mediterranean
from $2.55 to $3.45 per barrel; provides for a 2.5 percent annual
price increase plus inflation allowance; raises tax rate from
a range of 50-58 percent to 60 percent of posted price.
- Jul 31
- Venezuela's Hydrocarbons Reversion Law mandates gradual transfer
to government ownership of all "unexploited concession areas"
by 1974 and "all their residual assets" by 1983.
- Aug 15
- U.S. Government institutes Phase I price controls. Invoking
the powers granted to the president by the Economic Stabilization
Act of 1970, President Nixon orders 90-day nationwide freeze on
all wages, prices, salaries and rents.
- Sep 22
- OPEC directs members to negotiate price increases to offset
the devaluation of the U.S. dollar.
- U.S. Phase II price controls begin. Plan is to allow for gradual
2-3 percent annual price increases, however, domestic petroleum
prices remain at Phase I levels.
- Dec 5
- Libya nationalizes British Petroleum concession.
- Jan 20
- Six exporting countries - Abu Dhabi, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar
and Saudi Arabia - conclude ten days of meetings with Western
oil companies. An agreement is reached to raise the posted price
of crude by 8.49 percent to offset the loss in value of oil concessions
attributable to the decline in value of the U.S. dollar.
- Mar 11-12
- OPEC threatens "appropriate sanctions" against companies
that "fail to comply with . . . any action taken by a Member
Country in accordance with [OPEC] decisions."
- Jun 1
- Iraq nationalizes Iraq Petroleum Company's (IPC) concession
owned by British Petroleum, Royal Dutch-Shell, Compagnie Francaise
des Petroles, Mobil and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon).
The concessions were valued at over one billion dollars.
- Jun 9
- In a show of support for Iraq, OPEC moves to prevent companies
whose interests were nationalized in Iraq from increasing production
elsewhere; appoints mediators between Iraq and IPC.
- Sep 30
- Libya acquires a 50 percent interest in two ENI concessions.
- Oct 27
- OPEC approves plan providing for 25 percent government ownership
of all Western oil interests operating within Kuwait, Qatar, Abu
Dhabi and Saudi Arabia beginning on January 1, 1973, and rising
to 51 percent by January 1, 1983. (Iraq declines to agree.) Agreements
signed on December 21.
- Jan 11
- U.S. Phase III price controls begin. Allows for voluntary
instead of mandatory price control on all U.S. prices. This does
not prevent a sharp rise in heating oil prices caused by a severe
winter and shortage of product.
- Jan 17
- President Nixon suspends mandatory oil import quota on No.
2 heating oil through April 30.
- Jan 23
- Shah of Iran announces that the 1954 operating agreement between
a consortium of oil companies and Iran will not be renewed when
it expires in 1979. The consortium was formed in 1954 as a means
to settle a dispute between a new ministry in Iran and the Anglo-Iranian
Oil Company (AIOC). The consortium included Standard Oil of New
Jersey, Standard Oil of California, SOCONY-Vacuum, the Texas Company,
Gulf, Royal Dutch-Shell, the Compagnie Francaise de Petroles,
and the AIOC.
- Feb 28
- Iraq and IPC reach an agreement on compensation for nationalization.
- Special Rule No. 1 reimposes mandatory (Phase II) price controls
on the 23 largest oil companies. Smaller companies, representing
5 percent of the market, enjoy uncontrolled prices.
- Mar 16
- Shah of Iran and Consortium members agree to nationalize all
assets immediately in return for an assured 20-year supply of
- Mar 16-17
- OPEC discusses raising prices to offset decline of U.S. dollar
- Apr 1
- OPEC increases posted prices by 5.7 percent.
- Apr 18
- U.S. Government ends Mandatory Oil Import Program. Program,
established in 1959 by President Eisenhower, had limited imports
of crude and product east of the Rocky Mountains to a percentage
of domestic crude production.
- Jun 1
- Eight OPEC countries raise posted prices by 11.9 percent.
- Jun 11
- Libya nationalizes Bunker Hunt concession; Nigeria acquires
35 percent participation in Shell-BP concession.
- Jun 14
- Nixon administration imposes 60-day economy-wide price freeze,
superseding Special Rule No. 1 for oil companies.
- Libya nationalizes 51 percent of Occidental Petroleum concession
and of the Oasis consortium.
- Aug 17
- President Nixon's Cost of Living Council imposes two-tier
price ceiling on crude petroleum sales: production of "old"
oil (that produced at or below 1972 levels from existing wells)
to be sold at March 1973 prices plus 35 cents; production of "new"
oil (that produced above 1972 levels from existing wells and oil
produced from new wells) to be sold at uncontrolled prices.
- Sep 1
- Libya nationalizes 51 percent of nine other companies' concessions:
Esso, Libya/Sirte, Mobil, Shell, Gelensberg, Texaco, SoCal, Libyan-American
(ARCO), and Grace.
- Sep 5-9
- Conference of less developed countries approves forming "producers'
associations," calls for withdrawal of Israeli forces from
occupied Arab lands.
- Sep 15-16
- OPEC supports price hikes and designates six Gulf countries
to negotiate collectively with companies over prices. Other members
to negotiate individually.
- Kuwait rejects gradual participation increase plan, insists
on immediate 60 percent participation.
- Oct 6
- Beginning of fourth Arab-Israeli War.
- Oct 7
- Iraq nationalizes Exxon and Mobil shares in Basrah Petroleum
Company representing 23.75 percent equity in the company.
- Oct 8-10
- OPEC meets with oil companies to discuss revision of 1971
Tehran agreement and oil prices. Negotiations fail.
- Oct 16
- The Gulf Six (Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
and Qatar) unilaterally raise the posted price of Saudi Light
marker crude 17 percent from $3.12 to $3.65 per barrel and announce
- Oct 17
- OPEC oil ministers agree to use oil weapon in Arab-Israeli
War, mandate cut in exports, and recommend embargo against unfriendly
- Oct 19-20
- Saudi Arabia, Libya, and other Arab states proclaim an embargo
on oil exports to the United States.
- Oct 23-28
- Arab oil embargo extended to the Netherlands.
- Nov 5
- Arab producers announce 25 percent cut in production below
September levels. Further cuts of five percent are threatened.
- Nov 18
- Arab oil ministers cancel the scheduled 5 percent cut in production
- Nov 23
- Arab summit conference adopts open and secret resolutions
on the use of the oil weapon. Embargo extended to Portugal, Rhodesia,
and South Africa.
- Nov 27
- President Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act
(EPAA). Authorizes petroleum price, production, allocation and
- Dec 9
- Arab oil ministers announce a further production cut of 5
percent for January for non-friendly countries.
- Dec 22-24
- OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker
crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974.
- Dec 25
- Arab oil ministers cancel January 5 percent production cut.
Saudi Arabian oil minister promises 10 percent OPEC production
- Jan 7-9
- OPEC decides to freeze posted prices until April 1.
- Jan 29
- Kuwait announces 60 percent government participation in BP-Gulf
concession; Qatar follows on February 20.
- Feb 11
- Washington Energy Conference opens. Attended by 13 industrial
and oil producing nations. Called by U.S. to resolve the international
energy problems through economic cooperation among nations. Henry
Kissinger unveils Nixon Administration's seven-point "Project
Independence" plan to make the U.S. energy independent. Libya
nationalizes three U.S. oil companies that had not agreed to 51
percent nationalization in September.
- Feb 12-14
- Heads of state of Algeria, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia
discuss oil strategy in view of the progress in Arab-Israeli disengagement.
- Mar 17
- Arab oil ministers announce the end of the embargo against
the United States, all except Libya.
- May 18
- Nigeria announces 55 percent government participation in all
- Jun 1-3
- Arab oil ministers decide to end most restrictions on exports
of oil to the United States but continue embargo against the Netherlands,
Portugal, South Africa, and Rhodesia.
- Jun 4
- Saudi Arabia announces that it will increase its participation
in Aramco to 60 percent. Abu Dhabi and Kuwait follow in September.
Increases are retroactive to January 1.
- Jun 13
- IMF establishes its "oil facility," a special fund
for loans to nations whose balance of payments have been severely
affected by high oil prices.
- Jul 10-11
- OAPEC lifts the embargo against the Netherlands.
- Sep 6Saudi Arabia increases its buy-back price from
93 percent to 94.9 percent of posted price.
- Sep 13
- OPEC instructs its Secretary General to "carry out a
study of supply and demand in relation to possible production
- Saudi Arabians raise tax rate to 85 percent and royalty rate
to 20 percent.
- Nov 15
- International Energy Agency formed in Paris within OECD framework.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates announce a slight
reduction in posted prices and tax rates.
- U.S. Crude Oil Entitlements Program enacted, retroactive to
- Dec 22
- Iraq announces plans to increase its production capacity to
3.5 MMB/D by 1975 and to 6 MMB/D by 1981.
- Jan 1
- U.S. Federal oil depletion allowance eliminated for large
- Jan 13
- Business Week publishes Kissinger interview hinting at military
action against oil countries in case of "actual strangulation."
- Apr 7-15
- Preliminary meeting at Paris on world economic crisis between
oil-exporting (Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela), oil-importing
(European countries, U.S., Japan), and non-oil Third World countries
(India, Brazil, Zaire). Talks collapse after nations fail to decide
whether agenda should focus on oil/energy issues or have a broader
- Apr 9
- Twenty-four OECD members sign an agreement to establish a
$25 billion lending facility to provide assistance to industrial
nations hurt by high oil prices.
- Jun 13
- World Bank establishes its "Third Window," a fund
to make loans to countries too rich to qualify for "soft"
no-interest loans, but too distressed to afford loans at the prevailing
normal lending rates. Action represents significant cooperation
between oil-exporting and industrial nations.
- Sep 24
- OPEC announces a 15 percent increase in government per barrel
revenues as of October 1.
- Oct 28
- Venezuela and foreign oil companies agree on nationalization
as of January 1, 1976.
- Dec 1
- Kuwait and Gulf and BP agree on terms of nationalization.
- Dec 9
- Iraq completes nationalization by taking over the BP, CFP,
and Shell shares of the Basrah Petroleum Company.
- Dec 22
- President Ford signs the Energy Policy and Conservation Act
(EPCA) effective February 1976. Authorizes the establishment of
the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), participation in International
Energy Program, and oil price regulation.
- Official price of Saudi Light remains at $12.37 per barrel
- EPCA 3-tier price regulation begins. Small changes in Entitlements
- April - May
- Lebanese civil war causes drop in Iraq exports through trans-Lebanon
pipelines to Mediterranean.
- OPEC issues press release vowing to "take appropriate
measures" to protect OPEC interests in light of protectionist
actions by certain countries.
- Sep 1
- U.S. stripper well oil prices decontrolled.
- Dec 14
- 640 foot Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals,
spilling 7.6 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.
- Moderates and OPEC "hawks" disagree on how fast
price should rise. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates increase
prices by 5 percent, others by 10 percent.
- OPEC goes to two-tier pricing (Saudi Arabia and United Arab
Emirates use $12.09 per barrel and other OPEC countries use $12.70per
- Fifty percent of Saudi Arabia's 10 MMB/D production is halted
briefly due to fire damage to separation facility in Abqaiq field.
Prices increase slightly.
- OPEC prices reunified at $12.70 per barrel as Saudi Arabia
and UAE fall into line, then official price rises to $13.66 per
- Oct 23
- Dry dock complex opens at Bahrain; only facility between Portugal
and Singapore capable of servicing VLCCs.
- Student protests against government of Reza Pahlavi, Shah
of Iran, begin, touching off a wave of political unrest and violent
clashes between police and demonstrators. Throughout the year
increasing anti-Shah activities are led by Muslim fundamentalists
seeking to establish a Muslim state.
- Amoco Cadiz tanker runs aground off the coast of France, spilling
1.6 million barrels of crude oil. (Largest crude spill to date.)
- Iran and Saudi Arabia block efforts of OPEC price hawks to
fix the price of OPEC oil in a currency more stable than the U.S.
dollar. Say world economy cannot support associated price increases.
Are accused by hawks of being U.S. agents.
- Shah puts Iran under military rule. Muslim leader Noori arrested
in crackdown of opposition groups.
- Iranian strikes; departure of foreign technicians.
- Pipeline fire drops Iraqi production 300,000 to 600,000 barrels
- Iranian oil production starts dropping.
- Iranian production hits 1.5 MMB/D in mid-December; 500,000
on December 27, a 27-year low. OPEC production rises 1.6 MMBD
over two months due to increased Saudi production.
- Dec 17
- OPEC decides on a 14.5 percent price increase for 1979, to
be implemented quarterly.
- First emergency Crude Oil Buy-Sell Program allocations.
- Jan 16
- Shah leaves Iran on vacation, never to return. Bakhtiar government
established by the Shah to preside until unrest subsides.
- Jan 20
- Saudi Arabia announces drastic cut in first-quarter production.
9.5 MMBD ceiling imposed. Although actual cuts never reach announced
levels, spot prices of Middle East light crudes rise 36 percent.
- Jan 20
- One million Iranians march in Teheran in a show of support
for the exiled Ayatollah Komeini, fundamental Muslim leader.
- Feb 12
- Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support
of the military.
- Mar 5
- Iran resumes petroleum exports.
- Gasoline shortage/world oil glut.
- Mar 26
- OPEC makes full 14.5 percent price increase for 1979 effective
on April 1. Marker crude raised to $14.56 per barrel.
- DOE announces $5 per barrel entitlement to importers of heating
oil. Saudi Arabia announces intention to increase direct sales
and to sell less through Aramco. Both announcements send prices
- Jun 1
- Phased oil price decontrol begins. Involves gradual 28 month
increase of "old" oil price ceilings, and slower rate
of increase of "new" oil price ceilings.
- Jun 26-28
- OPEC raises prices average of 15 percent, effective July 1.
- Buy-Sell Program sales average more than 400,000 B/D from
October 1979 through March 1980 - highest level since February
1976, due to emergency allocations.
- Canada eliminates light crude oil exports to U.S. refiners,
except for those exports required by operational constraints of
- Nov 4
- Iran takes western hostages.
- Nov 12
- Carter orders cessation of Iranian imports to U.S.
- Nov 15
- Iran cancels all contracts with U.S. oil companies.
- Dec 13
- Saudi Arabia raises marker crude price to $24 per barrel.
- Mar 1
- Windfall Profits Tax enacted.
- Saudi Light raised to $28.00 per barrel, retroactive to April
- Buy-Sell Program allocations drop to average of 120,000 B/D
for period April to September 1980.
- Sep 17
- Iraq breaks 1975 treaty with Iran and proclaims sovereignty
over Shatt al-Arab waterway.
- Sep 23
- Iraq invades Iran. Mutual bombing of installations.
- Nov 10
- Iraq captures southern port of Khorramshahr.
- Nov 20-24
- U.N. gulf war mediator Olaf Palme makes first unsuccessful
peace shuttle between Tehran and Baghdad.
- Collapse of OPEC's pricing structure. Saudis use $32 per barrel
marker, others use $36 per barrel benchmark.
- Saudis flood market with inexpensive oil in 1981, forcing
unprecedented price cuts by OPEC members. In October, all 13 OPEC
members align on a compromise $32 per barrel benchmark. Later,
benchmark price is maintained, but differentials are adjusted.
- Iraq repels first major Iranian offensive.
- Jan 28
- President Reagan lifts remaining domestic petroleum price
and allocation controls originally scheduled to expire in September
- After meetings in Baghdad and Teheran, attempts by nine Islamic
Conference leaders to mediate peace between Iraq and Iran fail.
- Windfall profits tax reduced.
- Sep 27-28
- Iran defends its besieged port of Abadan, driving back Iraqi
- OPEC reaches an agreement to unify crude price at $32 per
barrel through 1982 and sets an ultimate price ceiling of $38
- Nov 29
- Major Iranian offensive mounted on central front.
- Indications of a world oil glut lead to a rapid decline in
world oil prices early in 1982. OPEC appears to lose control over
world oil prices.
- Damascus closes Iraq's 400,000 bbl/d trans-Syrian oil export
pipeline to show support for Iran.
- Mar 11
- U.S. boycotts Libyan crude.
- May 24Iran recaptures Khorramshahr.
- Iran demands $150 billion in war reparations; pledges war
until Iraq's Hussein stands trial.
- Jun 10
- Iraq declares unilateral cease-fire.
- Jul 13
- Iran launches first attack into Iraq.
- Oil glut takes hold. Demand falls as a result of conservation,
use of other fuels and recession. OPEC agrees to limit overall
output to 17.5 MMB/D. OPEC agrees to individual output quotas
and cuts prices by $5 to $29 per barrel.
- Iraq increases missile attacks on Iran.
- Jul 20-30
- Iran moves into northern Iraq. Casualties top 13,800 in ten
- Jul 26
- U.S. threatens action to preserve navigation in Persian Gulf.
- Heavy fighting and casualties in Iran-Iraq war.
- Iran attacks northern Iraq, threatening Kirkuk pipeline.
- Iran captures Najnoon Islands.
- Mar 27
- Beginning of "tanker war." Over the next nine months,
44 ships, including Iranian, Iraqi, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti
tankers, are attacked by Iraqi or Iranian warplanes or damaged
- Iran mobilizes 500,000 troops to southern front. No offensive
- May 26
- President Reagan rules out U.S. military intervention.
- Civilian target truce in Iran-Iraq war.
- Norway and Britain cut prices in response to falling spot
market. Nigeria follows, renewing pressure on OPEC price cuts.
- Oct 17
- OPEC cuts production to 16 MMB/D, but agreement is negated
by cheating and price-discounting.
- Nine OPEC members adjust prices to cut gap between light and
heavy crudes from $4 to $2.40 per barrel. Saudi light price cut
one dollar to $28 per barrel.
- Mar 11-19
- Iranian offensive; heavy casualties.
- "Battle of the cities" - heavy bombing from both
Iran and Iraq.
- OPEC output falls to 20-year low of 13.7 MMB/D.
- Iran begins hit-and-run raids on Iraq.
- OPEC loses customers to cheaper North Sea oil. More OPEC price
- Saudi Arabia links prices to spot market. Output rises from
2 MMB/D in August to 5 MMB/D in early 1986.
- Aug 15
- First Iraqi air raid on Iran's main oil export terminal, Kharg
- Nov 6
- Exploratory well in Ranger, Texas, blows out, spilling 150,000
BBLS of crude oil.
- OPEC output hits 18 MMB/D boosting a glut and triggering a
- Average world oil prices fall by over 50 percent in 1986.
There is wide use of netback pricing in 1986.
- Feb 3-4
- OPEC fails to agree upon a production accord after a two-day
meeting in Vienna.
- Iran captures southern Faw peninsula, starts northern offensive.
- May 7
- Iraq bombs Tehran refinery.
- OPEC production-cut talks fail, ending in a tentative majority
pact on an average 1986 ceiling of 17.6 MMB/D.
- Jun 8
- Iraqi jets attack Assadabad satellite station.
- Brent price dips under $9 per barrel. OPEC production rises
to 20 MMB/D.
- Jul 27
- Iraqi jets attack central Iranian city of Arak. Iran threatens
missile attack of gulf states supporting Iraq.
- Aug 2
- Hussein offers peace in open letter to Iran.
- Aug 4
- Reports of probable OPEC agreement on output quotas sends
oil prices higher.
- Aug 12
- Iran fires missile at refinery near Baghdad. Iraq raids Iranian
terminal at Sirri Island severely disrupting Iranian exports.
- Dec 19
- OPEC reaches an accord that would cut production by seven
percent for the first six months of 1987 (from 17 MMB/D to 16
MMB/D) and would raise prices immediately toward a target world
oil price of $18 per barrel.
- OPEC price accord begins to deteriorate.
- OPEC majors stick to fixed prices.
- Gulf war escalates.
- OPEC meeting failure.
- Wide use of crude formula pricing in 1988.
- OPEC price meeting set.
- OPEC/Non-OPEC meeting failure.
- Iran accepts cease fire.
- Oct 14
- Crude oil prices jump in anticipation of possible production
accord at Gulf Cooperation Council meeting set for October 16.
- Nov 28
- OPEC reaches production accord. Six-month agreement to set
production at 18.5 MMB/D. Although the recent OPEC quota had been
19.0 MMB/D, actual OPEC production had been closer to 21.0 MMB/D.
- Fulmar/Brent outages.
- Exxon tanker Valdez runs aground, spilling 11 million gallons
of crude oil in the waters of Price William Sound. Oil prices
react upward to news of the spill and to potential shortages on
the west coast cased by refinery fires there.
- OPEC raises their production ceiling to 19.5 MMB/D.
- Iraq invades Kuwait. Crude and product prices soar upward;
exchange markets react wildly to any middle east news events;
cash markets dominate prices after trading hours; jet fuel prices
rise to record spreads over other products due to increase in
defense demand. In late August, OPEC president fails to revive
floundering attempts to organize a formal OPEC meeting to discuss
crisis/production strategies. Informal meetings held in Vienna
result in record price falls.
- Conflicting reports of promises to increase OPEC output to
compensate for embargo of Iraq and Kuwait oil further compound
- Aug 2
- raq invades Kuwait.
- Bush orders troops to Saudi Arabia.
- Aug 27
- Market prices plunge as OPEC nears informal agreement to increase
output to cover 4 MMB/D shortfall due to invasion. Cash market
trading experiences abrupt decline.
- Sep 6
- U.S. citizen is shot in Kuwait. API reports 4.4 MMB weekly
draw in domestic crude stocks. Oil markets surge on aggressive
U.S. statements toward Iraq.
- Sep 21
- Reports that U.S refinery problems will lead to a 200,000
B/D loss in capacity and aggressive remarks by Saddam Hussein
send crude prices to new highs.
- Sep 24
- Iraq invades the French and Dutch missions in Kuwait; French
President Mitterand called the action a violation of international
law; a U.S. warship boards an Iraqi-flagged tanker bound for the
port of Basrah.
- Sep 18
- Crude prices outpace increases in product prices and there
is talk of cutting refinery runs.
- Sep 20
- Poor refining margins.
- Sep 24
- Saddam Hussein states his willingness to strike first and
his intention to damage oil fields in the region if Iraq does
- Oct 1
- Saddam Hussein says he may be willing to negotiate the occupation
of Kuwait and would consider foreign participation in negotiations.
- Oct 3
- API reports a 9 MMB weekly U.S. crude inventory draw.
- Oct. 9
- Fear of war and long-term supply disruptions as Hussein threatens
- Oct 10
- API reports crude inventories dropped by more than 4 MMB in
the last week.
- Oct 11
- Libya's Qadhafi says Israel must be eliminated, and U.K. Foreign
Secretary Hurd says force would be used if Iraq doesn't withdrawal
- Nov 5
- Reports of increasing Saudi production and lower world demand.
- Nov 6
- Iran's oil-producing region suffers a serious earthquake.
- Nov 7
- API reports 5 MMB U.S. crude inventory weekly increase.
- Nov 8
- Unconfirmed rumors that Bush would announce an airlift of
supplies to U.S. embassy in Kuwait, which could ultimately trigger
a military clash.
- Nov 13
- Saudis ask U.S. for rights to bid on SPR crude.
- Nov 19
- Report that Iraq will bolster its forces in Kuwait.
- Nov 20
- API reports crude inventory drop in U.S. of more than 4 MMB;
Saddam Hussein announces plans to release German hostages; Soviet
Union shows reluctance to endorse the use of force against Iraq.
- Nov 21
- French President Mitterand voices support of a proposed U.N.
resolution that would authorize the use of force in the Persian
- Nov 26
- U.S. proposes addition to U.N. resolution that would require
Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait by January 1.
- Nov 29
- U.N. Security Council approves U.S.-sponsored resolution authorizing
the use of force in the Persian Gulf if Iraq does not withdrawal
from Kuwait by Jan. 15, 1991.
- Nov 30
- President Bush offers to send Secretary of State James Baker
to Baghdad to meet with Hussein.
- Dec 4
- An Iraqi official reports that Iraq will withdraw if it can
retain control of the Rumailah field and keep Bubiyan and Werbah
islands; also says that demands that the Palestinian issue be
treated separately would not be surmountable.
- Dec 5
- Iraq announces willingness to speak with U.S. about resolving
the Persian Gulf crisis.
- Dec 13
- Secretary of State Baker questions Iraq's seriousness about
Middle East peace.
- Dec 18
- Bush reiterates his "no concessions" stance against
- Jan 4
- Reports Iraq will accept U.S. offer for talks in Geneva.
- Jan 7
- Saddam Hussein prepares his troops for what he says will be
a long violent war against the U.S.
- Jan 9-14
- At Geneva talks, Baker says that "regrettably" Iraqi
Foreign Minister Aziz has indicated no softening in Iraq's position.
Peace talks break down, but there is still talk of a peaceful
solution to the crisis.
- Jan 15
- Report that Iraq has a new peace initiative.
- Jan 16
- U.S. begins air attack against Iraqi military targets. President
Bush directs drawdown of Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). U.S.
Secretary of Energy James Watkins orders 33.75 MMB drawdown. Crude
oil prices drop $9-10 per barrel in one day after having risen
$3-5 per barrel during the first half of January.
- Jan 17
- Reports of early U.S. and allied success against Iraqi forces;
DOE issues SPR sales notice.
- Jan 18
- Iraqi Scud missiles land in Israel.
- Jan 22
- Kuwaiti oil facilities are destroyed by Iraq and more Iraqi
missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.
- Jan 30DOE selects 13 firms to purchase 17.3 MMB of
SPR crude oil.
- Surplus of unsold oil held by oil producers reaches 80-90
- Feb 5
- First SPR oil delivered to commercial buyers.
- Feb 15
- Daily market volatility as Hussein mentions withdrawal, but
Bush calls his offer a "cruel hoax."
- Feb 26
- Signs of Iran crude now an option for U.S. refiners, but no
imports from Iran likely in near future.
- Feb 28
- War ends. U.N. troops move into Kuwait City. Saddam Hussein
orderstroops out of Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers ignite Kuwaiti oil
fields during their retreat.
- Mar 1
- News that Kuwait will need to import crude in the short term.
- Mar 12
- OPEC announces production cut to 22.3 MMB/D.
- Mar 13
- API reports a 6 MMB weekly domestic crude inventory draw;
Saudi Arabia and Iran say OPEC production cuts will take effect
- Mar 19
- Gorbachev says the Soviet Union will cut its oil exports by
- Mar 25
- Nigerian crude becomes competitive in U.S. Gulf Coast as Nigeria
cuts crude prices.
- Apr 25
- Iraq expects to resume crude and product exports by July.
- June 3
- Kuwait asks GCC members to produce 800,000 B/D of oil on its
- Unsuccessful coup attempt against Soviet President Gorbachev
has minimal effect on oil markets.
- Soviet Union suspends petroleum product exports as its fuel
shortages grow. NYMEX futures price for WTI climbs nearly $2,
ending at $24 per barrel.
- Last of Kuwait oil well fires extinguished by well control
- U.S. Senate filibuster causes withdrawl of an Alaska National
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) pro-leasing bill.
- Soviet Union collapses as a series of events precipitated
by Ukrainian vote for independence leads to formation of Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS).
- Kuwait reports oil production of 400,000 B/D; insists on restoration
of its pre-invasion OPEC quota of 1.5 MMB/D.
- UN threatens sanctions against Libya for its refusal to extradite
- CIS announces that 1991 crude exports dropped by 52%.
- Saudi Arabia supports a crude oil price hike during a late-month
OPEC meeting. NYMEX Futures prices exceed $22 per barrel.
- OPEC production reaches highest level in more than a decade
at 25.25 MMB/D.
- U.S., Mexico, and Canada sign NAFTA multi-lateral free trade
- Oil prices plunge on speculation that Iraq will accept U.N.
missile test site inspections and receive approval to resume oil
- Combination of OPEC overproduction, surging North Sea output,
and weak demand lowers the price of Brent to near $15 per barrel.
- Oil Prices firm on strength of institutional shifting of U.S.
investment funds from equity and bond markets to cash and commodities.
- Nigerian production disrupted by oil workers' strike in response
to imprisonment of apparent winner of presidential elections.
Sources include: Dallas Morning News (DMN); Dow Jones (DJ);
Energy Compass (EC); Financial Times (FT); New York Times (NYT);
Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW); Platt's Oilgram News (PON);
Wall Street Journal (WSJ); Washington Post (WP); Washington Times
(WT); and Weekly Petroleum Argus (WPA).
- Jan. 14
- Mexico pledges profits from state-owned
Pemex's $7-billion-per-year oil revenues in an effort to secure
U.S. congressional approval of $40-billion worth of loan guarantees.
Subsequently, President Clinton approved a $20-billion U.S. aid
package for Mexico. (DMN)
- Jan. 30
- Norway's Statoil announces that a newly-formed
consortium of 11 oil companies will develop a plan to supply Norwegian
natural gas to the European continent. Three Norwegian companies
recently signed a contract with Gaz de France to bring 1.4 trillion
cubic feet of Norwegian gas to France between 2001 and 2027. (DJ)
- Feb. 28
- The Pentagon announces that it monitored
Iranian installation of surface-to-air Hawk missiles in the Strait
of Hormuz. The Iranians also have taken possession of and fortified
the nearby Abu Musa and the Tunb Islands, which are claimed by
both Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). (DJ)
- June 14
- After the semi-annual meeting of the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, President Ida
Bagus Sudjana discloses the Organization's intention to roll over
its present crude oil production ceiling of 24.52 million barrels
per day. The announcement is followed by a trip to Norway by
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Hisham M. Nazer. Upon arriving, the
Saudi Minister asks Norwegian Minister of Industry and Energy
Jens Stoltenberg to restrain his country's oil production in the
hopes of stabilizing world oil prices. (FT, DJ)
- June 30
- Exxon signs a $15.2-billion deal to develop
oil and gas fields near Russia's Sakhalin Island. The Sakhalin
I project will develop the offshore Shayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun-Dagi
fields that together are estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels
of crude oil and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Exxon
has a 30 percent stake in the project. (NYT, DJ)
- July 6
- Venezuela's Congress approves the country's
first investment law allowing for foreign participation in oil
exploration and production. The newly-passed "model agreement"
authorizes the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela
S.A. (PDVSA) to offer 10 exploration blocks to foreign investors.
If oil is discovered, the government will maintain a majority
stake in any joint venture formed to develop the new fields.
- July 27
- Saudi Aramco awards the giant Shaybah oil
field development project to U.S.-based Parsons Corporation.
The $2.5-billion project will develop the 7-billion-barrel field,
including the construction of crude oil production facilities,
gas-oil separation plants, and a 372-mile pipeline. The Shaybah
field is located on the Saudi-UAE border and is expected to produce
500,000 barrels per day after it comes on line in 1999. (PON)
- July 28
- Norwegian Finance Minister Sigbjorn Johnsen
says that Norway should not lower its crude oil production in
an attempt to boost world oil prices. Norwegian Oil Minister
Jens Stoltenberg believes production cuts may be necessary if
prices begin to fall. Minister Johnsen's remarks follow last
month's visit by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Hisham M. Nazer, who
asked Minister Stoltenberg to cut Norway's crude oil production.
- Aug. 2
- Saudi Arabia's King Fahd issues a decree
replacing all members of the Council of Ministers who do not have
blood ties so the royal Family. While most of the Council's top
positions are unaffected by the reshuffling, Oil Minister Hisham
Nazer is replaced with Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi. (WSJ)
- Aug. 14
- Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reports
that Iran has been unable to sell 200,000 barrels per day of crude
oil since the imposition of a unilateral oil embargo by the U.S.
Iran increasingly has sold its crude oil on spot markets as opposed
to long-term contracts. Larger purchases by France, Spain, Italy,
China, India, Pakistan, and Thailand have failed to offset decreased
demand by German and Japanese refiners. Before the U.S. embargo
was announced in April 1995, U.S. companies were buying between
400,000 and 450,000 barrels per day, down from roughly 600,000
barrels per day in 1994. (PON)
- Aug. 28
- Kuwaiti Oil Minister Abdul Mohsen al-Medej
announces that his country will increase its oil production capacity
to as much as 3.5 million barrels per day by 2005. (DJ)
- Sept. 13
- The Kuwaiti Oil Ministry states
its intention to seek a 200,000-barrel-per-day increase to its
current 2-million-barrel-per-day crude oil production quota at
the November 1995 OPEC meeting in Vienna. The announcement comes
amidst growing non-OPEC oil production and weak oil prices. (DJ)
- Nov. 22
- OPEC states that it will roll over
its current oil production quota of 25.42 million barrels per
day. The roll-over was widely anticipated because of slack world
oil demand, rising non-OPEC production, and weak prices. (DJ,
- Nov. 29
- President Clinton approves legislation
lifting a 22-year-old ban on exports of oil from the Alaskan North
Slope (ANS). The ban was imposed after the oil embargo by Arab
oil producers in 1973. The lifting of the ban opens up about
one-quarter of U.S. crude oil production for export. The ANS
legislation also waives royalty payments on deep water oil and
gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. (WP)
- Dec. 12
- Speaking in New York during a U.S. visit
by Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, Joaquim David, president
of the state-owned oil company , Sonangol, states that Angola
will increase its crude oil production by 10 percent per year
over the next five years, reaching 720,000 barrels per day by
the end of 1996 and 1 million barrels per day by 2001. The statement
comes amidst sporadic violence involving government forces and
the rebel group UNITA, less than a year after a peace accord was
signed ending the country's 20-year-old civil war. At the end
of 1995, Angola had raised its crude oil production to 690,000
barrels per day. (PON, DJ)
Sources include: Dow Jones (DJ), Financial
Times (FT), New York Times (NYT), and Platt's Oilgram News (PON),
Washington Post (WP), and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
For a more detailed description of 1996 events go here.
- January 17
- Iraq agrees to talks concerning a U.N. plan
to allow for the Iraqi sale of $1 billion of oil for 90 days for
a 180-day trial period. Under U.N. Resolution 986, proceeds from
the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes. In the past,
Iraq has opposed clauses 6 and 8b contained in Resolution 986.
Clause 6 stipulates that oil exports under this plan must pass
through the 1.6-million b/d Iraq-Turkey pipeline, which currently
is unusable because of sludge build-ups and pumping station damage.
By most estimates, the line would take a minimum of three months
to repair. Clause 8b states that part of the proceeds from the
sales would be disbursed under U.N. supervision to Kurdish provinces
in northern Iraq. Negotiations between Iraq and the United Nations
are scheduled to begin February 6, 1996. (FT, PON, DJ)
- January 30
- Vice Admiral Scott Redd, commander of the U.S.
Fifth Fleet based in the Persian Gulf, states that Iran test-fired
a new anti-ship missile near the Strait of Hormuz on January 6.
The missile reportedly has a range of 60 miles and is viewed as
a threat to regional security by U.S. naval forces operating in
the area. Oil tankers carry about 15 million b/d through the Strait.
- April 24
- In New York, the United Nations and Iraq end a
third round of negotiations over Iraq's possible sale of $1 billion
of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period. Under U.N. Resolution
986, proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes.
While both sides have reached agreement on most of the key issues,
chief Iraqi negotiator Abdul Amir al-Anbari says that the United
States and the United Kingdom have fundamentally altered the text
of a proposed agreement which he had received from the United
Nations early in the third round. Al-Anbari states that the changes
have postponed any possible deal. The U.N.-Iraq talks are scheduled
to restart on May 10. (DJ)
- April 30
- In the United States, President Clinton approves
the sale of $227 million of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve. At current oil prices, roughly 12 million barrels would
be sold. The Clinton Administration hopes that the sale will lower
gasoline prices in the United States, which are at their highest
levels in five years. (WSJ)
- May 20
- In New York, the United Nations and Iraq agree to
U.N. Resolution 986, which provides Iraq with the opportunity
to sell $1 billion of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period.
Under the resolution, proceeds from the sale would be used for
humanitarian purposes. The agreement comes following months of
heated negotiations. Iraqi oil exports are expected to begin by
the Fall of 1996, after a pumping station on the Iraq-Turkey pipeline
is repaired and U.N monitoring and aid distribution facilities
are put in place. Shortly after the agreement, the White House
announces its decision to allow U.S. oil companies to purchase
Iraqi oil exports. (FT, PON, WSJ)
- June 11
- Exxon states that it will soon begin work on its
$15-billion Sakhalin I oil and natural gas development in Russia's
Far East. The Sakhalin I project will develop an estimated 5 billion
barrels of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas located
in three offshore hydrocarbon fields. The $300 million appraisal
program will include drilling one exploration well and conducting
a 3-D seismic survey. The U.S. company says that it will start
working despite ongoing differences with the Russian government
over the country's new production sharing law, which is widely
viewed as not offering adequate legal protection for foreign investment
in the country's oil and gas sectors. (FT)
- June 20
- The Venezuelan Congress approves eight, multi-billion
dollar, profit-sharing deals which allow foreign oil companies
to explore and produce oil in Venezuela for the first time since
the country's 1975 nationalization of the oil industry. The deals
could boost Venezuela's current oil production by 500,000 b/d
by 2005. Foreign oil companies such as Amoco and British Petroleum
are expected to sign final deals with state-owned PdVSA within
10 days and may begin working on their new acreage by the third
quarter of 1996. The eight blocks are estimated to hold between
7 to 11 billion barrels of light crude oil reserves. (PON, DJ)
- July 7
- OPEC issues a resolution announcing Gabon's withdrawal
from the organization, effective January 1, 1995. Gabon had an
OPEC quota of 287,000 b/d. (FT)
- July 18
- The United Nations formally approves an Iraqi aid
distribution plan, a major step forward in the direction of allowing
Iraq to sell oil under Resolution 986. (DJ)
- August 6
- President Clinton signs a new bill imposing sanctions
on non-U.S. companies which invest over $40 million a year in
the energy sectors of either Iran and Libya. Under the law, the
President would be required to impose at least two of the following
sanctions: import and export bans; lending embargoes from U.S.
banks; a ban on U.S. procurement of goods and services from sanctioned
companies; and a denial of U.S export financing. The European
Union has stated its opposition to the U.S. law and threatened
- August 21
- In Venezuela, a subsidiary of state-owned Petroleos
de Venezuela (PdVSA), Corpoven, signs a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) with U.S.-based ARCO. The MOU provides for a $3.5-billion
joint venture to develop and upgrade roughly 200,000 b/d of crude
oil from the country's 270-billion Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt. The
project will produce 9° API gravity crude oil in the Hamaca region
and upgrade it to 25° API for export to U.S. refineries. The project
will be implemented in three phases, the last of which will be
completed in 2006. Another PdVSA subsidiary, Maraven, recently
signed another, similar deal with Conoco. (PON, FT)
- September 5
- Following U.S. cruise missile strikes on military
facilities in southern Iraq, crude oil prices rise as the market
speculates when Iraq will begin exporting oil under U.N. Resolution
986. Benchmark Brent Blend for October rises above $22/barrel
amidst the uncertainty. The U.S. attack follows an Iraqi-supported
invasion of Kurdish safe haven areas in the country's northern
area. Subsequently, President Bill Clinton states that the U.N.
oil-for-food sale should be postponed indefinitely. (DJ)
- October 30
- Exxon confirms that it is in talks with state-owned
Qatar General Petroleum Corporation concerning the application
of new technology to convert natural gas to petroleum products.
Exxon believes that technology developed in a successful 200-b/d
Anatural gas refinery project in Texas would work in Qatar, where
a proposed $1-billion plant would be able produce between 50,000-100,000
b/d of middle distillate products. Under the proposal, Qatar's
270-Tcf North field would supply between 0.5-1 Bcf/d of gas for
use as feedstock. In the past, technological barriers and high
costs have precluded the development of natural gas refineries.
- December 18
- During a press conference, Iranian Deputy Foreign
Minister Abbas Maleki states that Iran supports the free flow
of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, but reserves the option
of closing off the shipping route if it is threatened. Iran recently
has admitted to deploying anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles
on Abu Musa, an island strategically located near the Strait of
Hormuz's shipping lanes. (DJ)
- December 30
- The United Nations announces that a total of
21 contracts have been approved for the limited Iraqi oil sales
under U.N. Resolution 986. The approved contracts will allow for
43.68 million barrels of oil to be exported in the first 90 days
of the sale. At present, exports of 26.37 million barrels have
been approved for the second 90-day period of the sale, which
allows Iraq to sell up to $1 billion worth of oil every 90 days
for an initial 6-month period. In mid-December 1996, Iraq restarted
the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which is expected to carry up to 450,000
b/d of oil under the sales agreements approved so far under U.N.
Resolution 986. Iraq's remaining oil exports will flow through
the Mina al-Bakr terminal. (NYT, DJ)
Sources include: Dow Jones (DJ), New York Times (NYT), and the Washington Post (WP).
For a more detailed description of 1997 events go here.
- February 5
- Japan's Ministry of Finance announces plans
to cut import tariffs on crude oil and most petroleum products
from April 1, 1997, in a phased process that will reduce the country's
crude oil import tariff rate to zero in April 2002. (DJ)
- February 24
- Qatar inaugurates the world's largest liquefied
natural gas (LNG) exporting facility and formally launches Qatar
Liquefied Gas Co., which will have total output capacity of 6
million tons per year of LNG. The facilities are part of a new
$7.2 billion industrial zone which also includes a sea port with
a capacity to handle 25-30 million tons of LNG annually. Qatar
plans to build more gas liquefaction plants in the area to exploit
its natural gas reserves of around 237 trillion cubic feet. (DJ)
- April 1
- A Shell spokesman confirms the company will declare
force majeure at its Nigerian Bonny terminal due to local protests
which disrupted 210,000 barrels per day of the company's
oil production. Although the protests have ended and production
is returning to normal, the backlog is temporarily delaying loadings
by 3 days. (DJ)
- May 16
- A final agreement creating the Caspian Pipeline
Consortium (CPC) is signed by project participants: Russia (24
percent), Kazakstan (19 percent), Chevron Corp. (15 percent),
AO Lukoil/Arco Corp. (12.5 percent), Mobil Corp. (7.5 percent),
AO Rosneft/Shell Corp. (7.5 percent), Oman (7 percent), Agip
SpA (2 percent), British Gas PLC (2 percent), Oryx Corp. (1.75
percent), and Kazakstan Pipeline Ventures, a joint venture of
Kazakstan's state oil company and Amoco Corp. (1.75 percent).
The Russian government plans to transfer its stake to two Russian
oil companies, AO Lukoil and AO Rosneft. CPC plans to begin building
a 932-mile pipeline to transport crude oil from the Caspian region
to Russia's Black Sea coast in 1998 and begin shipping around
558,000 barrels per day of oil in 1999 (planned peak capacity
is 1.4 million barrels per day). (DJ)
- May 20
- President Clinton signs an executive order barring
new U.S. investment in Burma (also known as Myanmar), effective
May 21 and renewable annually. U.S. companies have invested about
$250 million in Burma, primarily in the oil and gas sector. The
biggest U.S. investor is Unocal, which is building (with France's
Total) a $1.2 billion pipeline from Burma's Yadana natural gas
field to an electric power plant in Thailand. (DJ)
- June 4
- In a unanimous vote, the United Nations Security
Council renews for another 180-day period its "oilforfood"
initiative with Iraq. Under the resolution, Iraq may sell $2 billion
worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other necessities to alleviate
civilian suffering under the sanctions imposed when it invaded
Kuwait in 1990. (WP)
- July 22
- The first shipments of oil produced from Kazakstan's
Tengiz field arrive at terminals on the Black Sea in Novorossiysk
(Russia) and Batumi (Georgia) for subsequent export through the
Bosphoros Strait. Volumes total between 100,000 and 150,000 barrels
per day. (DJ)
- July 23
- The U.S. State Department rules that Turkey's
August 1996 agreement to purchase $23 billion worth of natural
gas from Iran over a 20-year period does not violate the Iran
and Libya Sanctions Act. In a May 1997 memorandum of understanding
with Iran and Turkmenistan, Turkey modified the original arrangement
so that the natural gas will be purchased from Turkmenistan rather
than Iran. (DJ)
- August 4
- In Colombia, Occidental Petroleum, a California-based
international oil company, and Ecopetrol, Colombia's
national oil company, declare force majeure on all oil
exports from the Cano Limon field. The declaration comes after
a series of attacks dating back to July 30 knocked out a major
oil pipeline transporting oil from the field to the Caribbean
port of Covenas. The pipeline has been attacked 45 times this
year which is equal to the total number of attacks for 1996.
Responsibility for the attacks has not been determined, but leftist
guerrillas from the National Liberation Army are usually blamed
for such attacks. The force majeure declaration does not
apply to the oil contained in the 2 million barrel storage facility
at Covenas. (DJ)
- August 8
- The United Nations approves a sale-price formula
for Iraqi crude oil sales under the oil-for-food plan. The approval
cleared the way for Iraq to resume limited oil exports immediately
through the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea and
Iraq's Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr. The United Nations will also begin reviewing contracts
for Iraqi crude oil purchases. Iraq has until September 5 to
raise the $1.07 billion allowed under the existing 90 day oil-for-food
plan window. Iraqi officials state they will boost exports to
2 million barrels per day to meet the sales target. However,
industry experts say that Iraq's export capacity is untested beyond 1.4 million barrel per day. (DJ)
- September 12
- The United Nations Security Council passes
a resolution that allows Iraq to reach the $2.14 billion oil sales
limit under its oil-for-food program by December 5. The current
6-month oil sales window, running from June 8 to December 5,
will be split into a 120-day segment and a 60-day segment instead
of two 90-day segments. During each segment Iraq can sell $1.07
billion worth of oil. The resolution should enable Iraq to make
up for lost revenues during a delay in the start of oil sales
during the first two months of the current six month sale period. (DJ)
- October 29
- Iraq's Revolution Command Council, the country's
main decision making body, announces that it will no longer allow
U.S. citizens and U.S. aircraft to serve with the United Nations
(U.N.) arms inspection teams. The council's
statement gives U.S. citizens working with the inspection teams
one week to leave Iraq. Iraq has also asked the U.N. to stop flights
by American reconnaissance aircraft monitoring its compliance
with U.N. resolutions requiring the elimination of weapons of
mass destruction. In response to this statement, the U.N. Security
Council unanimously approves a statement condemning Iraq's
threats to expel the Americans. (DJ)
- November 20
- Iraq's Revolution Command Council formally endorses an agreement, arranged
by Russia, that enables United Nation's
(U.N.) weapons inspection teams to resume operations in Iraq.
The deal ends a three-week standoff between the U.N. and Iraq
that began in late October 1997 after Iraq announced it would
no longer allow U.S. citizens to serve on U.N. weapons'
inspection teams. (DJ)
- November 29
- For the first time in four years, the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agrees to an increase
in its production ceiling. OPEC has raised the ceiling to 27.5
million barrels per day for the first half of 1998, effective
January 1, 1998. The new ceiling represents a 10 percent increase
over the current ceiling. The new quotas are as follows: Saudi
Arabia 8.76 million barrels per day (bbl/d), Iran 3.942 million
bbl/d, Iraq 1.314 million bbl/d, Venezuela 2.583 million bbl/d,
Nigeria 2.042 million bbl/d, Indonesia 1.456 million bbl/d, Kuwait
2.19 million bbl/d, Libya 1.522 million bbl/d, United Arab Emirates
2.366 million bbl/d, Algeria 0.909 million bbl/d, and Qatar 0.414
million bbl/d. (NYT)
- December 4
- Iraq's United Nations (U.N.) Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon warns that Iraq will not allow oil to flow during a third six-month phase of the U.N.'s oil-for-food sale until the U.N. approves an aid distribution plan. Despite the warning, the U.N. Security Council approves a third six-month phase following the end of the second six-month phase. Like the first two phases, the third phase allows Iraq to sell up to $1.07 billion of oil in each of two 90-day periods. However, the sales level may be increased by the Security Council in January 1998 after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan reports on Iraq's needs. The next day Iraq stops pumping oil into the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline at the end of the second six-month phase of the United Nations (U.N.) oil-for-food program. (WP, NYT)
- December 11
- Delegates from 150 industrial nations attending a United Nations climate conference in Kyoto, Japan reach agreement on a protocol to control heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The protocol, if ratified, would commit nations to roll back emissions of six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride) below 1990 levels. Under the protocol, the United States would be required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels, while Europe and Japan would make cuts of 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Developing countries are exempt from the emissions ceilings for the time being. (DJ)
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