Oil Shifting To Public Sector

There's nothing crude about changes taking place in the global oil industry. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the former Soviet Union are gaining experience in operating state-owned oil companies--and that means a diminished role for such private enterprises as Exxon Corp. and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, according to A.T. Kearney Inc., Chicago. Government-run oil companies will increasingly take over investment functions as well as refining and distribution, leaving private companies to handle customer relations, billing, and infrastructure.

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