Oil price drop brings back memories of 1986
NEW YORK—The last time that U.S. oil drillers got caught up in a price war orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, it ended badly for the Americans.
In 1986, the Saudis opened the spigot and sparked a four-month, 67 per cent plunge that left oil just above $10 (U.S.) a barrel. The American industry collapsed, triggering almost a quarter-century of production declines, and the Saudis regained their leading role in the world’s oil market.
So while no one expects the Saudis to ramp up output now like they did then, and U.S. shale oil companies are pledging to keep drilling regardless, the memory of that bust looms large for American industry executives on the eve of OPEC’s meeting Thursday. As the Saudis gather with officials from the 11 other OPEC nations in Vienna, analysts are split on whether the
Nov 27, 2014