OPEC agreed collectively to reduce official selling prices for the first time in its history in March 1983. The organization also imposed an overall production ceiling on its members and adopted a prorationing agreement, making the Saudis the explicit swing producer and market balancer. The price cut came in the midst of a political and intellectual debate concerning the fundamental evolution of the international energy sector. A host of questions has now arisen striking at some of the most basic and previously unchallenged assumptions about the ‘rules’ of the international ‘oil game’, the structure of the energy market-place and the evolving petroleum investment climate.