a decade's bonanza, the Saudis found their cartel losing its power;
its soaring prices had shrunk demand.
Safire, January 1986
OPEC tripled the price of oil in 1974, then doubled that in 1979. By
1981, a worldwide reaction forced Saudi Arabia, OPECís leading
supplier, to cut production in order to keep the price from falling
below OPECís target level. By the end of 1985, Saudi Arabia had
been forced to cut production 75 percent and could afford no more
cuts. It abandoned the cartel rules, letting the price collapse. This
ended a twelve-year price shock that is by far the largest experiment
in energy policy ever conducted. The experiment did much harm and,
quite by accident, much good as well. ...