OIL: New Middle East Split

The price for promising Middle East oil concessions is rising so fast that the so-called fifty-fifty profit split is as dead as a dry well.

Last week a group of Japanese oilmen won a 2.890-sq.-mi. concession in the Persian Gulf off the neutral zone by contracting to pay 56% of the production profits to the zone's owners, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The deal came just a few days after Standard Oil Co. (Indiana) became the first major U.S. company to upset the fifty-fifty pattern. For a 6,177-sq.-mi. concession off Iran's shores in the gulf. Indiana Standard agreed to pay 75%...

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