Energy, the most vulnerable area in U.S. natural resources, is a subject of intense controversy today. Petroleum is the main source of energy for today's technological world, and the major reserves of this resource are in the Middle East. Consequently, American petroleum companies have made substantial investments in Middle Eastern countries. This investment has been faced with many uncertainties, but it has averaged a return of 65.6 percent. U.S. investment in the Middle East averaged only 2.5 percent of worldwide investments, but it has generated 19.7 percent of income during the period under study. Given these facts, it is no small wonder that the Middle East countries have demanded additional compensation for having their petroleum reserves exploited.
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