Inside the Big Oil Game

Playing with billions, shuffling the taxes and gambling on discoveries

From Saudi Arabia to Sumatra, from Nigeria to the North Sea, up comes the oil. And every day, 24 hours a day—at a rate of 30,000 gallons per second—the petroleum-thirsting world swills it back down in desperate, energizing gulps.

Welcome to the Oil Game—the highest stakes, most dazzling game on earth. See the world's largest, wealthiest companies match wits with lumbering bureaucracies. Behold developing nations become Croesus-rich overnight. Watch capitalists try to raise billions for offshore drilling rigs taller than the Empire State Building, for supertankers bigger than aircraft carriers, for refineries that look like visions out of Star Wars....

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