Oil Prices Over The Years

The price of a barrel of oil is incessantly changing.

Project Info

Name: Emily R.

Project: 8

Question: What is the price of a barrel of oil today, and how does this compare historically?

Historical Prices of Oil in America

The Sixties

During the 1960s, the price of a barrel of oil ranged from $1.21 to $1.73, a fairly stable price change.

The Seventies

The seventies came grooving in, bringing the rates from $1.70 to $29.19. This spike was the result of the Iranian revolution, sparking an oil crisis in the later years of the decade.

The Eighties

The price of oil in the early eighties was $35.52, as a result of the Iran/Iraq war. It slowly decreased as the war came to an end, dropping to $14.24 in 1988.

The Nineties

A somewhat-steady decrease of oil prices occurred during the nineties. The steadiest period was from $22.26 in 1990, to $15.53 in 1994, when the economy was booming. As the economic prosperity slowed down in 1995 to 1996, barrel prices went from $16.86 to $20.29. Once again, it fluctuated from $12.28 in 1997 to $17.44 in 1999, ending the decade on all right footing.

The 2000s

Prices skyrocketed during the 2000s. After September 11, 2001, America began the War on Terror, and our troops were sent to Afghanistan. The price of oil was $23.12 in 2001, and continuously increased to $50.59. During the peak of the recession in 2008, oil prices were at an all-time high of $94.10!


The past few years, oil prices have been very high. It stayed around $100 from 2011 to 2014. This year's oil price is about $52.78, which is a lot lower than it has been recently! Gas prices are relatively low at the pump.