Business: The Seven Sisters Still Rule

Five years after the crunch, most oil firms are as robust as ever

There's no business like oil business.

—C.C. Pocock, chairman of Shell

A few years ago, such Ethel Mermanesque exuberance would have sounded strange coming from the chief of one of world oil's fabled Seven Sisters—Exxon, Shell, Mobil, Texaco, British Petroleum, Standard Oil of California and Gulf.* Though the sorocracy had ruled the international oil trade since it began, the upheaval in the business that started with the Arab embargo of 1973 threatened to end this reign. Flushed with their success in quintupling the price of petroleum, the OPEC countries were...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!