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Justin Fox

OPEC Tries Stamping Out Frackers

The Saudis want to to impose order on the world oil market. It won’t be easy.
Saudis put the squeeze on the shale frackers.

Saudis put the squeeze on the shale frackers.

Photographer: Reza/National Geographic/Getty Images

Whenever anybody struck oil in the U.S. in the late 19th century, Standard Oil’s pipeline guys showed up within a few days and offered to hook the new well up to the network.

Actually, "ordered" might be a better word. Pipeline boss Daniel O’Day was a master in the less-delicate arts of persuasion. And if anybody else tried to put in pipes to carry the oil, build refineries to transform it into kerosene, or set up retail networks to sell it, Standard Oil found ways to drive them out of business and/or buy them out.

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