The Hemisphere: Essential Oil

A more vital result of the Suez crisis than Panama's pain in the pride (see above) was that Latin American oil suddenly took on new importance to the West. If turbulence stirred by Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal slows down the flow of Middle Eastern oil, Europe will have to turn to Latin America.

Last year Latin America produced 885.7 million bbls. of crude, only 300 million less than the entire Middle East, and 88% of it came from a single country, Venezuela. Already the world's No. 1 oil-exporting country. Venezuela a fortnight ago officially confirmed reports (TIME, July 16) that...

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