The Future Of Oil

Extreme oil--from the deep Atlantic to the arctic, from fracking in the U.S. to sands in Canada--is replacing dwindling supplies. But it comes at a heavy economic and environmental cost

The waters of the Atlantic Ocean 180 miles east of Rio de Janeiro are a cobalt blue that appears bottomless. But it only seems that way. Some 7,000 ft. beneath the choppy surface lies the silent seafloor, and below that is 5,000 ft. of salt rock, deposited when the continents of South America and Africa went their separate ways 160 million years ago.

Underneath it all is oil. By one count, the presalt reservoirs off the central coast of Brazil hold as much as 100 billion barrels of crude; that's another Kuwait. It's why former Brazilian President Luiz Incio Lula da...

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