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January, 1996:

Virtual Consulting New York: Shell’s Scenario Planning 1998

Extract From: The Age of Heretics

Art Kleiner (1996)

It might seem surprising that the task was so difficult. By now, in mid-1972 everyone at Shell – and in the other oil companies – knew that the old oil game was falling apart. The OPEC governments, in the gentle voice of their new spokesman (the Cheshire Cat-like Saudi oil minister Sheikh Zhaki Ahmed Yamani), were asking for “participation.” They were no longer content to rent their land to oil companies; they wanted stock in the companies that drilled the wells. The major oil companies thus found themselves threatened with the possibility that they might lose their holdings. To the oil executives (and to most American citizens), it was as if a gang of belligerent street thugs had suddenly gained the power to dominate the world. (Of course, the Arabs, seeing the West through the light of their Islamic faith, felt the same way, except that in their Ottoman view the thugs had been in charge since the end of the Empire.) read more

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