Manipulation of the petroleum market is not new. John D. Rockefeller with his Standard Oil Trust mastered it between the end of the 19th and start of the 20th Century. Rockefeller and his trust succeeded in controlling virtually all the oil industry in the United States and also dominating the international market. The Standard Oil Trust fixed prices, set production quotas and ruthlessly forced out competitors.
Oil prices rocketed up primarily due to speculative traders who probably knew that they would be required to fire up the fracking craze. The author is right in interpreting the reduction in price as a way to pressure Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The other major producers, which have oil as a large part of their economies, also have sovereign wealth funds to weather the temporary reduction in oil prices. The bet is that these funds can outlast the targeted destruction mentioned above. Economic war always precedes physical war.
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