PARAGUAY: Big Wildcat

Oil and politics formed a high-octane mixture in Paraguay last week. The Union Oil Co. of California had begun what it called "the greatest wildcatting venture in history": the oil exploration of the entire Paraguayan Chaco, some 55,000,000 acres.

In 1943, Paraguay's President Higinio Morinigo had dined in Manhattan with a director of Union Oil. As Morinigo hoisted his food, he dropped a hint: oil gushed in the Bolivian Chaco, why not in the Paraguayan Chaco? The hint became a project. Soon three Union Oil geologists hacked their way through the Chaco brush....

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!