OIL: Chosen Instrument

In London last week, Oilman Ralph K. Davies sealed the deal that he hoped would make his American Independent Oil Co. (TIME, Sept. 1) one of the biggest U.S. producers in the Middle East. Said Davies: "A forward-looking . . . chapter in the history of oil ... The first time a large-scale oil operation has been undertaken in the Middle East by independents."

But how independent was Independent? Ten U.S. oil companies ponied up its $10 million capital. The State Department smoothed the path to the Sheikh of Kuweit, joint owner with Saudi Arabia's Ibn Saud of the Arabian...

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