Energy: Giant Gas Gusher in Louisiana

Tuscaloosa Sand, "geopressured" zones could raise nation's supply

The night of Aug. 13 was one that Lucy Parlange, wife of a plantation owner near New Roads, La., will never forget. She recalls: "We were sitting up here on the gallery, when we heard this terrific sound, like a sonic boom. I thought the air conditioner in the kitchen had blown up." What had really blown was a giant natural-gas well that probably will make Lucy and her husband, Walter Parlange, royalty rich.

The well's importance goes far beyond that. Its discovery indicates that a major...

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