Vol.9, No.2 | [Article] The Challenge of Neoliberal Economic Practices to OPEC’s Predominant Power of Oil Price Control in the 1980s



Until the early 1980s it seemed as if high oil prices engineered by OPEC had become an invariable norm in the world market. However, the growing influence of market forces challenged OPEC’s predominant position by undermining its price structure and required Saudi Arabia to take on different tasks within OPEC. With the wave of neoliberal economic practices, market-oriented oil polices, primarily guided by the US government, eventually helped to accelerate structural changes in the world oil market. This study will demonstrate how neoliberal economic practices, which had emerged during the 1980s, exerted a significant impact on the world oil market, allowing market forces to take control of oil prices out of OPEC’s hands.