Science: The Oil Bugs

Great oilfields may come from little bacteria. So says Dr. Claude E. ZoBell, a California "geomicrobiologist." He has proved that bacteria and petroleum cross each other's paths all along the line.

Dr. ZoBell examined fluids which rose to the surface of oil wells and found them teeming with bacteria. The same hardy bugs had been found by other observers, who wondered why they were there. Dr. ZoBell had a strong suspicion that they were old settlers: descendants of ancestors who had homesteaded in the oil sands millions of years ago. To prove it, he investigated the oozy, smelly mud and slime at...

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