Oil: Too Important to be Left to the Oilmen? Britain and the First Oil Crisis, 1970–3
In autumn 1973, Britain’s Conservative Government was going through hard times. The difficult domestic situation, with the clash with the unions over the government’s anti-inflationary policy, was made worse by the cuts in oil production and the price hike decided by the petroleum exporting countries. In this context, on Sunday 21 October, the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, received at his country residence, the chairmen of British Petroleum (BP) and Shell Transport, Sir Eric Drake and Frank McFadzean. The ensuing conversation was stormy.
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