By 1973,36 per cent of the world’s oil was supplied by the Middle East countries since oil from that quarter was more abundant and cheaper to produce than other known sources. Historically, however, the region has always been riddled with political and cultural tensions. As the result of Egypt crossing the Suez Canal and attacking Israel on 6 October 1973, which led to the Yom Kippur War, many countries in the industrial world had their oil supplies curtailed and by the following year oil prices had quadrupled. By mid-1980 the price of crude oil had risen nearly twelvefold. To what extent did the 1973 ‘oil crisis’ prove a turning point or watershed in the history of energy use, and how did the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War affect energy policy not only in the U.K. but throughout the world?
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