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In 1956, M. King Hubert predicted that the US would peak in oil production between 1965-1970, then the rest of the world would follow suit and peak oil would be reached in the 1990's. The peak did happen in the US, but did not end up happening for the entire world, and Hubert's theory was disproven, although most predict that a Hubert's curve will occur in the 2020's.
But what if oil had peaked.....
The POD in this TL is simply that there is less oil in the world, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Oil production in OPEC countries slowed in the 1970's, but most of that was attributed to the wars in Middle Eastern areas. In this TL, the real reason was that the production of oil was plateauing.
main article:Peak Oil
In June 1995, the world production of oil officially peaked, and the OPEC nations were instructed not to tell the world, fearing a global catastrophe, but instead were called to attend an emergency meeting in Cairo on June 28th, 1995. The delegates from the 12 member states decided to introduce an overall act to increase the number of oil wells and the search for new oil fields. The governments of the individual countries were instructed to use an extra 5% of gross income to pay for the new improvements. Other major oil producers, including Russia, did not experience declines like the Middle East and Africa, and so were unknowing of the developing crises. The Ac, formally called the Oil Increase Act, was condemned by NATO nations because it left even less money to use to improve the standards of living in the nations. This soon caused major social unrest, worsening the unknown problem, and starting the Middle East Revolution , the beginning of the end.