The Scramble For Oil's Last Frontier

It was a hot summer morning on Aug. 19, 1991, at Kenneth T. Derr's mountain home in Lake Tahoe. Getting up early, the Chevron Corp. chairman flipped on the TV and watched with horror the scenes of Soviet Army tanks rumbling into Moscow. Hearing that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was under arrest by hardliners at his dacha on the Black Sea, Derr turned to his wife and ruefully remarked: "Well, I guess we can quit worrying about our damn Soviet deal."

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