How Shell anticipated the 1973 oil crisis?

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Photo par Zbynek Burival sur Unsplash

In 1973, the world economy was shaken by a major oil crisis. In the wake of the Yom Kippur War1, the Gulf States and OPEC2 decided to reduce their oil production, while increasing the price of crude oil by 17% and taxes for oil companies by 70%3. In just a few weeks, the price of a barrel of oil skyrocketed, rising fourfold from 4 to 16 dollars4. For Western economies, this first oil crisis put an end to three decades of strong growth. In a matter of weeks, purchasing power fell, growth collapsed and unemployment rose.  As panic spread among the major multinationals in industrialised countries, Shell, an oil major, seemed to have anticipated the crisis.

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