Politics a New Game in Oil Power

Some important producers may face turmoil as prices collapse

"We are going through an emergency, a very real one." So said Mexico's Finance Minister, Jesus Silva Herzog, as he emerged from a conference on the international debt crisis in London last week. Silva Herzog was not alone in that assessment. In the Caribbean resort town of Cancun, his boss, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, was closeted for 13 hours with Venezuelan President Jaime Lusinchi to discuss the plummeting world oil prices that are squeezing their heavily indebted economies. The two issued a communique expressing their "profound concern" over conditions in the oil market, which, they said, created "an...

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