Natural Resources: A Price in the North Sea

For more than 18 months, the 23 groups of international oil companies drilling for natural gas in sandstone off the English coast have been caught between a devil and the deep blue sea. The treacherous North Sea and its gales have sunk two of their big drilling rigs, interrupted operations and increased production costs. The devil, as far as they are concerned, is Britain's Gas

Council, which, as sole purchaser of any gas found under British waters, has been stubbornly holding out for the lowest possible price. The oil consortia, led by Shell and Esso, demanded at least 3.25 cents...

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