OIL: The Desert Foxes

For weeks, a score of Western petroleum companies have been fencing with the ten members of the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) over the question of higher payments. Inspired by Libya's left-wing revolutionary government, the OPEC countries* have abandoned old political rivalries and joined to squeeze the oil companies—most of them American. At every opportunity, the countries have threatened to cut their customers off without a drop, thus depriving Western Europe of 85% of its oil, Japan of 91% and the U.S. of 18%. Last week talks between the companies and six Persian Gulf members of OPEC broke...

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