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....

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