Medicine: Payoff from the Sea Floor

Near Santa Barbara, a test to tap natural oil and gas leaks

Two and a half miles off the beaches of Santa Barbara County, Calif., near a promontory called Coal Oil Point, two barges and a tug maneuvered a pyramid-shaped contraption into position. Measuring 100 ft. by 100 ft. across its base and weighing 350 tons, the iron monster dangled from two large derricks, one of which had been towed from its home base in Malta. Once the engineers were satisfied that the pyramid was near the right spot, they lowered it by cable, adjusted its position and let it settle onto...

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