Oil crisis 1973

The 1st oil crisis was triggered by an OPEC oil embargo in response to US’ and Europe’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur war (Oct 6 – Oct 25, 1973).

The war in October
6 Oct 2014

On 17/10/1973, at a meeting in Kuwait, OPEC announced that exports would be reduced 5% per month until Israel withdraws from territories occupied in the 1967 war. 

NBC Nightly News, Oct 17th, 1973

In December 1973, a total export embargo was imposed on the US, Netherlands and Denmark.

For the US, the Arab oil embargo came at a time of declining domestic crude oil production, rising demand, and increasing imports. The OPEC embargo was successful because US crude oil production had peaked in 1970 at 9,637 kb/d (10,044 kb/d in November 1970) and had declined in 1973 to 9,208 kb/d.


When Arab production was restored in March 1974 oil prices had tripled to $12 per barrel.

In Germany:

German highway patrol checking exemption papers of a motorist during

Sunday driving bans in November 1973

Biking on autobahn: behavioral change

OPEC in the driver’s seat

New technologies

Brand new freeway: no fuel, no traffic

Volkswagen bus 2 hp

Direct democracy:  young activists paint new speed limits on freeway lanes

Spectators watch the scene, amused. Their banner reads: “that’s how cosy it is, 100 km/h”