Business: Hot Prospect

Off Alaska's frigid shores

The U.S. has tapped just about all the easily recoverable oil and gas it is likely to find within its own land area. Now the most promising areas for new finds of these fuels lie offshore, under water depths ranging from a few yards to 1,000 ft. or more. Oilmen have been drilling into the outer continental shelf since the mid-'50s, and the 20,000 wells they have sunk, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico, account for 14% of the nation's current domestic oil production and 23% of its gas. The next...

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