OIL: Buying Out the Wells

For more than two years, many of the world's oil-producing countries have been intensifying their drive to nationalize their oil industries. Last week the campaign passed a milestone: Kuwait became the first Arab country to achieve 100% ownership of its producing company. For $50.5 million the government bought the remaining 40% of Kuwait Oil Co. that had been owned by Gulf Oil and British Petroleum. Although the settlement followed months of acrimonious negotiations presided over by Oil Minister Abdel Muttaleb al Kazimi, it scarcely came as a surprise: the government had announced...

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