Persian Gulf: A Glut That Is All Too Visible

As ministers fiddle, a menacing oil slick continues to spread

Oil has been the font of their prosperity for decades, but now the wealthy sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf are almost literally swimming in the gooey, black liquid. Since March, three damaged Iranian wells have been spewing some 7,000 bbl. a day of crude into the waters of the gulf, producing an oil slick that is roughly the size of New Jersey and that may rank as the second largest in history.* Much of the menacing sludge rests just below the surface of the gulf's usually crystalline waters, but it is...

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