Oil: State Within a State

When rumors spread throughout the oil world from Baghdad to Manhattan last week that Iraq, out of pique at Britain, was planning to nationalize its oil industry, worried oilmen instinctively turned their eyes to Rome, as Iraq's likeliest collaborator. There, in a modest Rome office, sits lean and nervous Enrico Mattei, 55, the chief of Italy's state-owned oil and gas monopoly, called E.N.I, (for Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi). By shrewdly bargaining with any government that wants to deal in oil, Mattei has made E.N.I, so powerful that Italians dub it "the state within the state."

Though Iraq heatedly denied that it had...

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