Investment: Lure of the Land

The Dikeman family of Long Beach, Calif, this week will move into a new $55,000 home that sits smack on top of an oil well. Their house—and 400 others around it—is on an oilfield owned by the Christiana Oil Corp. So valuable has the surface of the aging field become that Christiana has closed and cemented over its producing wells. It has converted the tidal slough on which they stood into a posh residential marina called Huntington Harbour, which sits on the Pacific Ocean south of Los Angeles. Like more and more U.S....

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