If oil were nations

David Knott London davidk@ogjonline.com Calling at a gasoline station on my way to work after the New Year break, I imagined what would happen if the petroleum industry was run like politics. I had been listening on the car radio to a review of 1998 world events: in Washington, three crises linked to the Monica Lewinsky hearings, each followed by an air strike on Baghdad; in Westminster, a festering money-lending scandal; in Moscow, imminent anarchy; in Brussels, evidence of corruption. If the petroleum industry ran like politics, I mused, most countries would have at most two main fuel and lubricants retailers to choose from. Both would offer only products that were ...

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