Belgium: A Breath of Pink Air

In the international oil world of giants, Belgium's Petrofina is not notable for size; it ranks 18th among all oil companies. The remarkable fact about Petrofina is that it has become a strapping middleweight with hardly more than a skeleton to work with. After World War II, its lone refinery was in ruins, its fleet reduced to one 9,500-ton tanker and its only oilfields nationalized by Communist Rumania. Today it presides over 60 main subsidiaries in 18 countries, 10,000 service stations in Europe alone and a tanker fleet that totals 1,000,000 tons. Last year it raised sales 10% to...

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