Oil: Black Gold Rush

One of history's great oil scrambles is under way as new fields open up abroad

Is this any place to drill for oil? the temperature plunges to -40F in winter, then soars to 120F in summer, when swarms of mosquitoes make life even more unbearable. On top of that, workers must wear gas masks and carry oxygen packs, since just a whiff of the invisible hydrosulfide gas that seeps from the ground can cause instant death. "In winter it is difficult to motivate anyone to work," says Larry Barthold, general manager of the joint venture that U.S. oil giant Chevron and the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan have formed to tap the wealth that lies beneath...

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