The Achnacarry agreement set out in detail how the companies would maintain their lucrative control of oil markets into the future, setting quotas among themselves, never competing with each other and preventing competitors from getting in on the action.
In the 1970s, oil-producing nations in the Middle East and Venezuela
organized and managed to replace the Seven Sisters with their own
cartel, OPEC, striking a better deal for themselves and sending oil
prices soaring. Some enraged westerners were left wondering, “How did
our oil get under their sand?”
But the oil companies, backed by western governments, soon reclaimed
their dominance. By the late 1990s, according to Wall Street oil analyst
Fadel Gheit, a badly divided OPEC was on its deathbed.
Then miraculously it started to revive. “It was Hugo Chavez,” says Gheit. “He saved OPEC.”