OIL: Freeing the Slave

In the Great Slave Lake area 540 miles north of Edmonton, where Canada's timberlands fade into bleak muskeg swamps stretching northward toward the pole, the signs of oil are as persistent as the mosquitoes. The first Canadian explorers found lakes covered with oil seeping from holes in the ground. Indians and traders skimmed it off for their cook fires, scooped up fistfuls of the rich black muck to waterproof their boots. But to commercial oilmen, the potential of the Great Slave oil has long been only a tantalizing dream. No one had...

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