How High Can They Go? Oil Prices Reach $133 per Barrel

May 21, 2008
Key milestones in the rise of the price of crude oil to $133 since 1970.

Highlights and lowlights of the long, strange trip to $130+ for a barrel of oil since 1970.

1970: The official price of Saudi crude oil is fixed at $1.80 per barrel.

1974: Prices pass $10 per barrel after the first oil shock, sparked by the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

1979: The Islamic revolution in Iran causes a new oil shock and prices top $20.

1980: The barrel surpasses $30 and hits $39 in early 1981 at the height of the Iran-Iraq war.

Sep-Oct 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait and prices rise above $40 per barrel.

Aug 2005: Prices rise above $70 when Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf of Mexico, damaging major offshore oil installations.

Jan 2, 2008: Prices hit $100 amid concerns over violence in Nigeria, stability in Pakistan and supply problems in the key U.S. market.

Mar 13, 2008: Light sweet crude closes above $110 a barrel for the first time amid fevered speculation over the weakening dollar and China's and India's ever increasing demand.

May 6, 2008: A brighter outlook for the U.S. economy helps push world oil prices over $120 a barrel.

May 21, 2008: Oil jumps to $133.82 a barrel as official data reveal unexpected declines in U.S. energy inventories amid increasing Chinese demand.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse

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