Middle East: Oil Squeeze

Haggling is a way of life in the Middle East, but the oil-rich nations there have made it a disciplined science. Historically factious, they have united in a new and powerful outfit that is out to break once and for all the tradi tional fifty-fifty split of oil profits between governments and companies. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as the group calls itself, last month demanded a 58% share of the profits for their governments in negotiations with the eight major oil companies operating in the Middle East. Since the new split would cost oil companies $270 million...

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