0rom the nationalization of Mexican oil in 1938 until the late 1940s the oil companies were on the defensive, reeling constantly from one blow after another. Beginning in the late 1940s, however, even as the National Petroleum Company was on the verge of becoming reality, the oil companies were organizing a determined counterattack that formed part of a worldwide offensive, which had its best known success in Iran in 1954. The first order of business was to attempt to capture the oil of the Colombian Llanos. Another concentrated campaign involved trying to destroy or at least neutralize Ecopetrol; at the same time a parallel movement sought powerful allies among Colombia's elite. As the offensive rolled on during the 1950s, all that remained was to collect the fruits of victory in the shape of giveaway oil legislation.