If you thought the past few years have been bad, take a look at the history. Ever since the inception of the oil and gas industry, there’s been good years and bad years. But what exactly characterizes a bad year? For starters, occurrences like oil spills, wars, and falling oil supply can all contribute to making up a particularly bad year. It’s interesting to look back and take a look at what some of the worst years that we’ve had. Here are the top five worst years for oil and gas.
1990 was a trying year because of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The potential loss of oil along with the world’s growing uncertainty led to the prices of oil spiking from $17 per barrel in July to $36 per barrel in October.
The BP Oil Spill of 2010 is one of the largest oil spills ever recorded. An estimated 206 million gallons of oil were released into the gulf for 85 straight days. (Meet 4 heroes aboard the Deepwater Horizon and read their stories here.)
The largest oil spill on record was actually deliberate. During the Gulf War, Iraqi forces tried to keep American soldiers from making landfall by opening valves at offshore terminals, dumping millions of gallons into the Persian Gulf. It’s estimated that 380 million to 520 million gallons of oil were spilled.
Like 1990 and 1991, 1973 was a year where oil prices rose because of international relations. Because America supplied Israel with weapons after Syria and Egypt launched a surprise military campaign against them, OPEC issued an oil embargo on the United States and other countries. This raised the price of oil from $3 per barrel to $12 per barrel.
The 1980’s oil glut was caused by an oil surplus after the energy crisis of the 1970’s. In 1986 the price of oil fell from $27 per barrel to $10 per barrel, which is the equivalent of $58 to $22 today.