It was a great day, early last month, aboard British Petroleum's offshore drilling rig
Sea Gem, anchored 42 miles off the coast of Britain in the North Sea. Flow tests of the
natural-gas pocket discovered at the site showed a capacity of 10
million cu. ft. a day, enough to supply the fuel needs of a town of
300,000 people and to prompt Britain's Minister of Power, Frederick
Lee, to recommend building an undersea pipeline (at some $250,000 per
mile) to bring the gas to land by late 1967 or early 1968.
Then, last week, disaster struck. As the 32-man...
To continue reading:
Want the full story?
Get TIME the way you want it
Week Digital Pass — $4.99
Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS — $2.99
Year ALL ACCESS — Just $30! Best Deal!
Print Magazine + Digital Edition +
Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com
Learn more about the benefits of being
a TIME subscriber
If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!