Business: Britain's Stormy Petrol

To hear many of Britain's leaders tell it, that financially uptight little island need only await the imminent tapping of North Sea oil and gas for the dawning of a bright new day. Prime Minister Harold Wilson jokes: "There is speculation which member of the Cabinet will become chairman of OPEC in the 1980s." Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey says that Britain's petroleum import needs will be halved by 1977 and eliminated within five years.

Last week Texaco announced the discovery of a major field about 110 miles northeast of Aberdeen. Eleven other commercial...

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