Business Notes: Energy Capping a Gusher of Optimism

Energy Capping a Gusher of Optimism

Following the oil shocks of the 1970s, one of the consoling notions for Americans was that the country had a seemingly abundant supply of offshore oil and natural gas. A Government study in 1981 portrayed a virtual energy El - Dorado that contained as much as 40% of the country's undiscovered oil and 30% of its natural gas. Now that gusher of optimism has been capped.

Using figures released last week, the Interior Department estimates offshore oil reserves at only 12.2 billion bbl. of crude, or 55% less than earlier predictions, and 90.5 trillion cu. ft. of gas, down 44%. If...

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