Western Europe: Looking for the Sixpence

Natural gas is one of nature's richest prizes, and the hunt for it increases in tempo as the world's need for power grows. Right now, the biggest, the most expensive and the most melodramatic search is taking place in Europe's North Sea. Convinced that the North Sea covers the world's biggest bubble of natural gas, such major oil companies as Esso, Shell, Texaco and British Petroleum are scrambling to win a share of it, plan to spend $100 million on exploration and test drilling in the next three years. The stakes are so great (billions of dollars in gas...

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