OIL: Foot in the Door

Mexican politicos like to quote the law used to expropriate some $200,000,000 worth of U.S.-owned oil properties: "All hydrocarbons are the direct, inalienable and impressible property of the nation." They fight shy of mentioning just how much the expropriation cost Mexico. Ten years after expropriation, Pemex, the Government oil monopoly, still loses an estimated $3 million a month. To keep up Mexico's comparatively low oil production, known fields are being pumped too fast for maximum extraction; they will be exhausted in 20 years. Only a handful of new wells have been drilled this year.

To Antonio Bermudez, the hard-hitting whiskey...

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