You are here

Crude oil prices have been extremely volatile over the past few decades. World events can disrupt the flow of oil to the market or cause uncertainty about future supply or demand for oil, leading to volatility in prices. Supply disruption caused by political events, such as the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-74, the Iranian revolution in the late 1970's, and the Persian Gulf War in 1990, were accompanied by major oil price shocks. An excess of supply in 2014 caused the most recent decline in crude oil prices.

World Crude Oil Price and Associated Events, 1970-2014

Graphic showing the monthly world crude oil prices from Jan. 1970 to Nov. 2014 and the events that affected those prices.

Note: Refiner acquisition cost of imported crude oil.

Fact #859 Dataset

Supporting Information

Refiner Acquisition Cost of Imported Crude Oil by Month, 1970-2014
Month-Year Constant 2013 Dollars per Barrel Month-Year Constant 2013 Dollars per Barrel Month-Year Constant 2013 Dollars per Barrel
Jan-70 14.65 Jan-85 60.48 Jan-00 34.77
Feb-70 14.65 Feb-85 59.38 Feb-00 37.66
Mar-70 14.65 Mar-85 59.84 Mar-00 38.08
Apr-70 14.65 Apr-85 60.70 Apr-00 33.39
May-70 14.65 May-85 60.72 May-00 36.23
Jun-70 14.65 Jun-85 59.95 Jun-00 39.74
Jul-70 14.78 Jul-85 58.46 Jul-00 38.49
Aug-70 14.78 Aug-85 58.55 Aug-00 39.59
Sep-70 14.78 Sep-85 58.44 Sep-00 42.01
Oct-70 14.85 Oct-85 58.94 Oct-00 40.84
Nov-70 14.85 Nov-85 59.67 Nov-00 41.24
Dec-70 14.85 Dec-85 57.67 Dec-00 34.63
Jan-71 14.88 Jan-86 54.85 Jan-01 32.74
Feb-71 14.88 Feb-86 39.12 Feb-01 33.38
Mar-71 14.88 Mar-86 30.72 Mar-01 30.76
Apr-71 14.93 Apr-86 28.40 Apr-01 30.73
May-71 14.93 May-86 28.45 May-01 32.92
Jun-71 14.93 Jun-86 26.46 Jun-01 32.01
Jul-71 14.87 Jul-86 23.57 Jul-01 30.42
Aug-71 14.87 Aug-86 25.64 Aug-01 31.77
Sep-71 14.87 Sep-86 27.76 Sep-01 30.09
Oct-71 14.81 Oct-86 27.60 Oct-01 25.08
Nov-71 14.81 Nov-86 29.07 Nov-01 21.47
Dec-71 14.81 Dec-86 30.61 Dec-01 21.32
Jan-72 14.65 Jan-87 34.28 Jan-02 22.42
Feb-72 14.65 Feb-87 35.39 Feb-02 24.00
Mar-72 14.65 Mar-87 35.97 Mar-02 29.33
Apr-72 14.61 Apr-87 37.28 Apr-02 31.56
May-72 14.61 May-87 38.03 May-02 32.16
Jun-72 14.61 Jun-87 38.99 Jun-02 30.86
Jul-72 15.28 Jul-87 40.14 Jul-02 32.89
Aug-72 15.28 Aug-87 40.26 Aug-02 33.79
Sep-72 15.28 Sep-87 38.70 Sep-02 35.71
Oct-72 16.05 Oct-87 38.62 Oct-02 34.20
Nov-72 16.05 Nov-87 37.80 Nov-02 31.16
Dec-72 16.05 Dec-87 35.84 Dec-02 35.11
Jan-73 16.81 Jan-88 30.92 Jan-03 38.98
Feb-73 16.81 Feb-88 30.88 Feb-03 41.47
Mar-73 16.81 Mar-88 29.48 Mar-03 37.61
Apr-73 17.46 Apr-88 31.26 Apr-03 31.50
May-73 17.46 May-88 31.88 May-03 32.36
Jun-73 17.46 Jun-88 31.02 Jun-03 35.02
Jul-73 24.64 Jul-88 29.64 Jul-03 35.96
Aug-73 24.64 Aug-88 28.66 Aug-03 36.67
Sep-73 24.64 Sep-88 27.70 Sep-03 33.01
Oct-73 33.00 Oct-88 26.12 Oct-03 35.15
Nov-73 33.00 Nov-88 25.33 Nov-03 35.34
Dec-73 33.00 Dec-88 28.24 Dec-03 36.84
Jan-74 46.05 Jan-89 30.62 Jan-04 37.73
Feb-74 59.78 Feb-89 31.71 Feb-04 38.46
Mar-74 61.13 Mar-89 33.93 Mar-04 40.30
Apr-74 61.08 Apr-89 37.40 Apr-04 40.53
May-74 62.52 May-89 36.37 May-04 44.72
Jun-74 62.71 Jun-89 34.88 Jun-04 41.92
Jul-74 61.22 Jul-89 34.35 Jul-04 44.98
Aug-74 60.89 Aug-89 32.89 Aug-04 49.45
Sep-74 60.17 Sep-89 33.64 Sep-04 50.66
Oct-74 59.74 Oct-89 34.92 Oct-04 56.85
Nov-74 60.17 Nov-89 34.98 Nov-04 49.99
Dec-74 61.56 Dec-89 38.28 Dec-04 42.70
Jan-75 56.19 Jan-90 37.15 Jan-05 45.53
Feb-75 57.42 Feb-90 35.83 Feb-05 48.15
Mar-75 58.44 Mar-90 34.31 Mar-05 55.43
Apr-75 58.35 Apr-90 30.18 Apr-05 54.85
May-75 58.39 May-90 29.11 May-05 52.35
Jun-75 62.26 Jun-90 27.44 Jun-05 59.74
Jul-75 61.74 Jul-90 29.96 Jul-05 63.99
Aug-75 62.70 Aug-90 43.94 Aug-05 71.12
Sep-75 61.78 Sep-90 54.12 Sep-05 71.26
Oct-75 64.51 Oct-90 59.56 Oct-05 67.04
Nov-75 66.18 Nov-90 54.68 Nov-05 60.57
Dec-75 65.17 Dec-90 46.30 Dec-05 61.64
Jan-76 55.21 Jan-91 38.76 Jan-06 65.58
Feb-76 55.17 Feb-91 31.81 Feb-06 62.00
Mar-76 56.21 Mar-91 30.56 Mar-06 64.95
Apr-76 55.71 Apr-91 31.84 Apr-06 73.29
May-76 55.79 May-91 31.91 May-06 75.61
Jun-76 56.08 Jun-91 30.90 Jun-06 74.91
Jul-76 56.21 Jul-91 31.53 Jul-06 79.84
Aug-76 56.50 Aug-91 32.52 Aug-06 78.03
Sep-76 56.04 Sep-91 33.02 Sep-06 67.27
Oct-76 56.13 Oct-91 34.52 Oct-06 61.88
Nov-76 56.50 Nov-91 33.63 Nov-06 61.88
Dec-76 57.04 Dec-91 29.84 Dec-06 64.55
Jan-77 55.12 Jan-92 27.17 Jan-07 56.60
Feb-77 56.64 Feb-92 27.00 Feb-07 61.39
Mar-77 56.80 Mar-92 27.61 Mar-07 64.29
Apr-77 56.10 Apr-92 29.31 Apr-07 69.02
May-77 57.11 May-92 31.71 May-07 70.28
Jun-77 57.15 Jun-92 33.46 Jun-07 74.49
Jul-77 56.41 Jul-92 33.31 Jul-07 80.78
Aug-77 57.35 Aug-92 32.48 Aug-07 77.96
Sep-77 56.64 Sep-92 32.50 Sep-07 82.60
Oct-77 56.88 Oct-92 32.63 Oct-07 89.75
Nov-77 57.07 Nov-92 31.05 Nov-07 97.66
Dec-77 57.66 Dec-92 28.58 Dec-07 95.01
Jan-78 52.72 Jan-93 27.52 Jan-08 93.26
Feb-78 52.32 Feb-93 28.52 Feb-08 96.11
Mar-78 52.90 Mar-93 29.19 Mar-08 106.61
Apr-78 52.29 Apr-93 30.06 Apr-08 115.14
May-78 52.68 May-93 29.31 May-08 128.15
Jun-78 52.79 Jun-93 27.52 Jun-08 138.78
Jul-78 52.61 Jul-93 25.90 Jul-08 140.49
Aug-78 52.50 Aug-93 25.62 Aug-08 122.26
Sep-78 52.76 Sep-93 25.10 Sep-08 105.97
Oct-78 53.12 Oct-93 25.54 Oct-08 77.89
Nov-78 53.52 Nov-93 23.02 Nov-08 53.99
Dec-78 54.25 Dec-93 20.58 Dec-08 39.13
Jan-79 50.54 Jan-94 20.65 Jan-09 40.65
Feb-79 51.78 Feb-94 20.61 Feb-09 42.55
Mar-79 53.51 Mar-94 21.05 Mar-09 50.72
Apr-79 57.33 Apr-94 23.23 Apr-09 54.71
May-79 61.96 May-94 25.14 May-09 62.64
Jun-79 68.58 Jun-94 27.22 Jun-09 73.24
Jul-79 75.29 Jul-94 27.99 Jul-09 70.03
Aug-79 78.19 Aug-94 26.61 Aug-09 75.14
Sep-79 81.72 Sep-94 25.41 Sep-09 74.65
Oct-79 81.68 Oct-94 25.99 Oct-09 79.52
Nov-79 88.11 Nov-94 26.29 Nov-09 82.10
Dec-79 94.27 Dec-94 25.21 Dec-09 80.19
Jan-80 88.35 Jan-95 25.72 Jan-10 81.50
Feb-80 93.09 Feb-95 26.73 Feb-10 80.05
Mar-80 96.02 Mar-95 26.73 Mar-10 83.35
Apr-80 96.36 Apr-95 29.05 Apr-10 86.89
May-80 98.63 May-95 28.83 May-10 77.25
Jun-80 99.06 Jun-95 27.08 Jun-10 78.07
Jul-80 99.15 Jul-95 25.63 Jul-10 79.55
Aug-80 98.95 Aug-95 25.69 Aug-10 79.82
Sep-80 99.00 Sep-95 25.96 Sep-10 79.42
Oct-80 99.49 Oct-95 25.30 Oct-10 83.49
Nov-80 100.81 Nov-95 25.66 Nov-10 86.77
Dec-80 102.37 Dec-95 27.23 Dec-10 92.92
Jan-81 101.18 Jan-96 26.37 Jan-11 92.20
Feb-81 101.57 Feb-96 26.81 Feb-11 96.21
Mar-81 99.77 Mar-96 30.03 Mar-11 107.80
Apr-81 100.03 Apr-96 32.18 Apr-11 118.95
May-81 98.55 May-96 30.36 May-11 113.64
Jun-81 96.44 Jun-96 29.15 Jun-11 110.91
Jul-81 95.27 Jul-96 29.57 Jul-11 111.50
Aug-81 93.29 Aug-96 30.98 Aug-11 104.19
Sep-81 92.30 Sep-96 33.25 Sep-11 106.35
Oct-81 92.27 Oct-96 35.04 Oct-11 107.34
Nov-81 94.30 Nov-96 34.19 Nov-11 113.32
Dec-81 93.63 Dec-96 35.04 Dec-11 112.11
Jan-82 87.19 Jan-97 33.95 Jan-12 108.52
Feb-82 87.04 Feb-97 30.80 Feb-12 111.44
Mar-82 83.58 Mar-97 28.26 Mar-12 114.45
Apr-82 80.51 Apr-97 26.30 Apr-12 111.92
May-82 80.42 May-97 27.36 May-12 106.47
Jun-82 82.89 Jun-97 25.59 Jun-12 95.05
Jul-82 82.04 Jul-97 25.80 Jul-12 95.88
Aug-82 80.83 Aug-97 26.49 Aug-12 100.06
Sep-82 81.03 Sep-97 26.33 Sep-12 104.99
Oct-82 81.64 Oct-97 27.63 Oct-12 104.06
Nov-82 81.18 Nov-97 26.37 Nov-12 101.12
Dec-82 80.59 Dec-97 23.53 Dec-12 96.61
Jan-83 74.63 Jan-98 20.81 Jan-13 99.50
Feb-83 73.11 Feb-98 19.35 Feb-13 100.84
Mar-83 67.57 Mar-98 17.92 Mar-13 100.72
Apr-83 66.43 Apr-98 18.60 Apr-13 98.01
May-83 67.81 May-98 18.31 May-13 100.10
Jun-83 69.48 Jun-98 16.86 Jun-13 98.75
Jul-83 68.36 Jul-98 16.77 Jul-13 103.21
Aug-83 70.12 Aug-98 16.47 Aug-13 105.85
Sep-83 70.21 Sep-98 18.55 Sep-13 105.17
Oct-83 70.52 Oct-98 17.59 Oct-13 99.43
Nov-83 69.14 Nov-98 15.96 Nov-13 91.83
Dec-83 69.64 Dec-98 13.64 Dec-13 92.04
Jan-84 65.62 Jan-99 14.44 Jan-14 89.63
Feb-84 65.87 Feb-99 14.68 Feb-14 96.04
Mar-84 65.96 Mar-99 17.19 Mar-14 97.04
Apr-84 66.33 Apr-99 21.06 Apr-14 97.30
May-84 66.67 May-99 22.12 May-14 98.44
Jun-84 66.51 Jun-99 22.61 Jun-14 100.17
Jul-84 66.08 Jul-99 25.65 Jul-14 98.66
Aug-84 65.89 Aug-99 27.79 Aug-14 93.24
Sep-84 65.39 Sep-99 30.75 Sep-14 89.39
Oct-84 65.60 Oct-99 30.72 Oct-14 81.27
Nov-84 65.48 Nov-99 32.88 Nov-14 74.29
Dec-84 63.84 Dec-99 34.60    

Source: Sources: Energy Information Administration, "What Drives Crude Oil Prices?" January 2015.
Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Transportation, January 2011.

Return to 2015 Facts of the Week