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Some I-told-you-so smiles are blooming in board rooms of major oil corporations.

In recent boom years, top oil company executives abandoned the majors and either joined smaller independent oil companies or went into the lucrative oil business on their own. The incentive was ''a piece of the action'' - a share in oilfield profits, something the majors don't offer employees.

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Now with today's low oil prices, independents are drying up faster than Texas creek beds. Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and their like - themselves hard hit by plunging profits and slashed capital spending programs - are being flooded with applications from humbled former employees eager to return.m

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