Oil: The Louisiana Splash

Like pond-scrimming beetles, hundreds of speedboats and scows criss crossed the Gulf of Mexico last week carrying men and material to 88 rigs perched off the Louisiana coast. Helicopters whirred overhead, and field offices set up by 20 major oil companies bulged with engineers and geological surveyors. Arcing from the Mississippi Delta westward to the Sabine River and extending seaward 75 miles, Louisiana's 47 offshore oilfields cover a pool of more than 10 billion bbl. Coastal Louisiana, as a result, has become the world's busiest offshore oil site.

Most Generous. Domestic-oil exploration...

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