Energy: Pumping Fuel Under Water

As onshore deposits of natural gas are slowly pumped dry, output from underwater wells becomes ever more important. Some 160 offshore rigs, or a third of all those operating throughout the world, are now drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Last week TIME Correspondent George Taber visited several. His report:

From a helicopter whirling 1,000 ft. overhead, the gas and oil rigs look like pieces of some monster Erector Set. Giant beams crisscross to form towers rising 23 stories above the waves. In the swampy bayous near the coast, production and drilling equipment stands in tight clusters at the older drilling sites....

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