Business: Wildcatters' Lament

In the U.S., rising oil prices have already touched off what is building up to be the biggest oilfield rush since the 1950s. Oilmen, particularly the independent operators, who do more than 80% of the exploratory drilling in the U.S. and off its shores, have been swarming across the country in search of promising new deposits and even returning to old oil hunting grounds in Texas, New Mexico and other states. More and more, however, they are making a painful discovery: it can be a lot easier to strike oil nowadays than get the pumps, piping and other paraphernalia needed to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!