Oil: Hunt for Sunken Treasure

The invading explorers from nine different countries man an odd armada that ranges the long shoreline of Indonesia. Their expanding expeditions have already spent well over $100 million, and the cost rises steadily. The gamble, they figure, is worth the price. So the big rigs throb day and night as crewmen drill deep into the continental shelf. They are all racing to tap the same treasureĀ—an undersea source of oil that is far from the dangerous uncertainties of the Middle East and close to the great Japanese market. To make it even more attractive, the oil is "sweet crude," relatively...

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