Australia: Oil in the Bush

Oil-hungry Australia spends more than $250 million a year to import petroleum, an outlay that hardly pleases its export-minded government. Alarmed by this drain, Australia began subsidizing oil exploration six years ago, has since spent more than $45 million sending drill and rig out across its vast uncharted continent, often to the amazement of its aborigines and the terror of its kangaroos. More than 100 companies and syndicates now hold permits to look for oil in Australia. Such firms as Union Oil of California, Shell, Texaco, Delhi-Taylor and Kern County Land have so far drilled more than 700 wells, and...

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