A closed gas station in Seattle, 1976
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

In the brief period since the late summer of 1970, Tripoli, Caracas, Tehran and then Tripoli again have witnessed unprecedented demands upon the international oil industry by major oil-producing countries, dramatic confrontations with threats to withhold essential oil supplies, and far-reaching "settlements." As a result, the economic terms of the world trade in oil have been radically altered. The balance among oil-producing and exporting countries and oil-consuming and importing countries, and among oil companies themselves appears, at least as of now, to have shifted decisively in favor of the producing countries.

The winds of change for the oil industry that have

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