Oil: Race Across the Sand

Even before last year's Arab-Israeli war, the Suez Canal was fast diminishing in importance. Oil tankers, which accounted for almost half of all Suez traffic, were getting too big for it. As a result, more and more Middle Eastern oil was being shipped in giant tankers around the Cape of Good Hope. Faced with the prospect of dwindling profits from the waterway, Egypt began giving thought to building an overland pipeline as an alternate route for transmitting oil to the Mediterranean Sea. Then, when Israel came up with the same idea following the Six-Day War—and with the...

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