The high degree of solidarity of the member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has, since the autumn of 1973, steadily become increasingly obvious to and reluctantly accepted by the western industrialised world. Earlier pious hopes largely based on wishful thinking that strains and stresses amongst the world’s oil producers over questions of price and of levels of production, would produce a near future break-up in OPEC have been generally discarded, and the idea of the oil-producing countries as the dominant element in the international oil system is being accepted with all the implications for future international relationships. For developing countries like Brazil and India, the battle for independence from imported oil is, paradoxically, least subject to the influences of the activities of the international oil companies. The exploitation of North Sea oil and gas is placed in jeopardy because so many of the developmental decisions belong to exactly the same international oil companies.

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Odell, P.R. (Peter R.). (2019). The international oil companies in the new world oil market. In The Year Book of World Affairs, 1978 (pp. 76–92). doi:10.4324/9780367274634-6