chapter  1
10 Pages

'And Then There were Four ...' A Thumbnail History of Oil Industry Restructuring, 1971-2004

Jerome Davis Introduction The dilemma of the global economy with regard to its most controversial (if not most important) energy source, that of oil, might be compared to that of several riparian nation states with a major river flowing through their several territories. Like the flow of oil, the flow of the river is a blessing. Without it, national economies would be deprived of water for drinking, agricultural irrigation, hydroelectric generation, industrial and recreational purposes as well as a major means of commercial transport. Like oil, the river is also a curse. Its flow is inconstant. In drought years, the supply of water falls; in other years, floods can take their toll, leaving death and destruction in their wake. It can become polluted, causing both health and economic problems for its users.