Oil: Growth Despite Shortage

"Oil is seldom found where it is most needed, and seldom most needed where it is found," says L.E.J. Brouwer, senior managing director of Royal Dutch/Shell. Brouwer speaks from sometimes painful experience. Though the Shell group is second in the world oil industry (after Jersey Standard) and the largest industrial enterprise of any kind outside the U.S., it has never been as skillful—or as lucky—at finding oil as some of its rivals. It must buy a high 19% of its crude from other companies. Once a serious weakness, that need is also a source of strength since it forces...

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