OIL: Alam Kabeh

In 1942 a handful of U.S. oilmen, in the path of the Japanese advance through Sumatra, fired the Standard-Vacuum Oil Co.'s* $30,000,000 Palembang plant, biggest U.S. refinery in the Far East. Dutch soldiers held off the enemy until the oilmen escaped. The new Japanese proprietors rebuilt the refinery, saw their work undone in two Allied air raids. Few U.S.-owned plants in the Orient had taken such a beating; few staged a faster recovery.

Last week, in the mud flats adjoining the Musi River, in a 50-mile enclave only recently cleared by the Dutch of Indonesian insurgents, Palembang started refining stored crude...

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