Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Nominal and Real Oil Price, 1870-2016 (Dollars per Barrel)
Historically, oil prices in nominal terms (in today's
money) have remained remarkably
stable, hovering in the range of 10 to 20 dollars per barrel. An
increase in oil prices was usually associated with a recession,
but not the cause of it. The first
oil shock in 1973 and the second oil shock in 1979 saw a radical surge
in oil prices, followed by a counter shock that brought back prices
in the range of 20 to 30 dollars per barrel. When taking account of
inflation (monetary debasement) the surge in oil prices after 2003
not as acute in real terms as it was in 1980. The second oil shock
implied a surge in real oil prices that was not surpassed until 2008
during the Third Oil Shock.