Algeria: Oiling an Alliance

For 20 months, France has been determinedly negotiating to get its hands on a rich and vital resource: the oil reserves in its former colony, Algeria. Locked in that country's Sahara Desert is 1% of the world's proven reserves—more than 3.6 billion barrels—and 79 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, about 10% of the world's known supply. Colonel Houari Boumedienne, Algeria's new strongman, has been as anxious to get French development help as Ahmed ben Bella before him, and last week in Paris the two governments buried their bitter memories of the Algerian war and reached a tentative agreement...

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