-- Patent worries US refiners are concerned that a recent Unocal Corp. patent case could exacerbate tight gasoline supplies this summer.
-- Does OPEC have a death wish, pushing oil prices so high? Does OPEC have a death wish, pushing oil prices so high? Or is it all part of a canny game designed to extract maximum value from temporarily high prices while the group can-before wrecking demand and bolstering non-OPEC supply?
-- Merger morass Some disagreements are too deep for compromise, as BP Amoco PLC and ARCO have discovered in seeking US Federal Trade Commission approval of their $26.8 billion merger.
-- THE GLOBAL WARMING DEBATE GETS RELIGION There is nothing wrong with disagreement among titans of the oil and gas industry. In fact, honest disagreement on important questions affecting the industry is healthy and good.
-- MTBE debate An uncommon but politically persuasive coalition is asking the US Congress to reduce the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as an oxygenate in reformulated gasoline (RFG).
-- Italian gas decontrol The Italian government has proposed to end ENI SPA's near-monopoly on natural gas distribution but let it keep most of its assets and contracts.