Our subject matter brings attention to a historical perspective of previous oil price downturns. It focuses on three price downturns during the last 30 years. Such an analysis allows us to understand better the implications of the current downturn, particularly with respect to the development of certain oil plays in Latin America. The analysis also evaluates the impact of low prices on development of high cost and non-conventional sources of oil in selected Latin American countries, including deep water, extra heavy oil, pre-salt and shale oil. In this regard, “non-conventional oils” encompasses plays that are difficult and costly to develop in addition to the shale oil that often defines “unconventional” oil. In other words, this article considers “non-conventional oils” to include all oils other than conventional, light, easy-to-develop fields. The article concludes with an uplift epilogue: prices are showing signs of recovery and in due course some of those ¨difficult¨ plays will be able to be developed.