BRAZIL: Whose Oil?

The hottest topic in Brazilian politics is oil. Nationalists explode at the thought of foreigners helping to find and tap the country's petroleum resources. Army generals and Communists have joined in shouting: "O petrÓleo é nosso [the petroleum is ours]." The Brazilian Congress is now considering a bill that would severely limit foreign oil companies' shares in any oil-refining ventures to 40%.

Last winter, Standard Oil Co. of Brazil, a subsidiary of Standard Oil Co. (New Jersey), hired an opinion-survey group to find out what Brazilians think of oil exploitation. The poll confirmed the...

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