OIL: The $15 Million Mistake

When the Interior Department opened sealed bids on some Louisiana offshore oil land last month, a peculiar fact turned up. On one tract, Kerr-McGee Industries, Inc. submitted the only bid—a whopping $4,000,000; on several other tracts it was also completely unopposed by such offshore bidders as Shell, Gulf and Continental Oil. The worried giants hastily rechecked their geologic studies. Did Kerr-McGee, headed by Oklahoma's Democratic Senator Robert S. Kerr and Oilman Dean McGee, have some special information on the land? Not at all. In Washington last week, Kerr-McGee was...

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