LOS ANGELES (Aug. 2)
Standard Oil of California has asked its stockholders and employes to support “the aspirations of the Arab people” and “their efforts toward peace in the Middle East.” Standard Oil Chairman Otto N. Miller said in a special letter that the U.S. should support the Arab position because Middle East oil reserves are vital to “the future welfare of the Western world.” Miller’s message, dated July 26, is being mailed to Standard’s 40,000 employes and 262,000 stockholders.
The Standard Oil letter marks the first time a major oil company has taken such a strong and public stand on the Arab side of the Middle East issue. Executives of the international oil companies which have large petroleum reserves in Arab states traditionally have preferred to work behind the scenes in urging U.S. government support for the Arab governments.
The letter suggested that all citizens urge the U.S. government to work for peace in the Middle East. The letter, which recommended that the U.S. “work more closely with the Arab governments to build up and enhance. our relations with the Arab people.” did not mention Israel by name
Miller’s letter did not disclose his company’s strong dependence on the Middle East as a source of supply. Saudi Arabia and Iran together provided 61 percent of Standard’s worldwide production of crude oil in 1972.