BUSINESS ABROAD: Oil in the Wastelands

On the Paris Stock Exchange six months ago, shares in Esso Standard of France were selling for $27. Last week the same shares had risen to $160. Reason for the sixfold increase: Esso France had struck a rich oil field southwest of Bordeaux. It was the first major oil discovery in French history, and crude production from Esso France's first two producing wells is already up to 5,400 bbls. a day, v. 7,000 bbls. from all other wells in France.

The strike was made in Les Landes (The Wastelands), a barren, 110-mile-long strip of sand dunes and pines along...

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