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Analysis Back before the 70s oil from the Middle East was very cheep and in North America it was about 4 a barrel But then the leaders of the Middle East discovered that everyone needed their oil so they formed OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Practically overnight they jacked up the prices of oil by limiting the supply This was the first oil crisis It lasted for a while but then they got greedy and started supplying more oil in hopes to make more money But then there was more supply so the price of oil started to fall Just recently they are getting back together driving oil prices up again and making these few countries rich Over the past two years oil prices have increased very sharply with the Funds reference price rising from a 25 year low of 11 per barrel in February 1999 to a peak of close to 35 per barrel in the first week of September 2000 now settling around 30 per barrel The recent World Economic Outlook contained an extensive discussion of the potential impact of higher prices This is a trend because for the past few months oil and gas prices have been steadily rising and there is a growing concern for the energy needs of the world This trend will greatly affect Canadas future because Canada continues to use a lot of oil in everyday life A large amount of people own cars and use oil to heat their houses This oil that nearly everyone uses is becoming increasingly more expensive and is depended upon many variables that we cannot control Because there are very few efficient substitutes Canada must remain dependent upon oil A lot of this oil we have to import from the Middle East which is not such a good thing Many countries in the Middle East are in turmoil which makes it very difficult to depend on them
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