OIL: They Call It Drilling 101

They Call It Drilling 101

What do Harvard, Yale and Wellesley have in common? Aside from ivied halls, all three schools are in the oil and gas business, along with Duke and the University of North Carolina. Together they have anted up nearly $100 million for wildcatting ventures, chiefly in the Gulf of Mexico.

Harvard is the biggest plunger, having handed $50 million to a Houston- based consortium. The backers insist that putting money into drilling is a brainy idea, even though energy prices are in the doldrums. Insists Scott Sperling, a partner in Harvard's investment unit: "We're getting in near the bottom."

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