OIL: Still Tightening the Blockade

Throughout the cease-fire diplomacy of last week, the Arabs kept tightening their oil blockade of the West. Production cutbacks deepened; export embargoes spread. By week's end it was clear that after the shooting stops in the Middle East, the U.S., Europe and Japan will still be facing a war of oil attrition that will put severe strains on their diplomatic and economic cooperation.

In its first full week, oil's cold war went through three quick rounds of escalation:

1) The Arab countries that pledged two weeks ago to reduce oil output at least 5% a month began vying with one another...

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