The resignation of Algerian President Chadli Benjedid on Jan. 11 and the suspension of the runoff elections slated for later this month may help international oil companies. Moslem fundamentalists, who were likely to win an overwhelming majority in Parliament, are determined to scrap the North African country's new rules encouraging foreign oil drilling. About 15 foreign oil companies, including Exxon, are now vying for exploration and production deals in Algeria--which had previously been closed to them.

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