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The petroleum industry, truly seaborne in many ways, is active in waters ranging from Alaska to the Persian Gulf. It is producing from sizeable oil and gas fields located far from shore, drilling from floating platforms, completing wells beneath the sea, even floating refineries to far-off shores--accomplishments that were visionary a few short years ago. Important, significant reserves of oil and gas have been found in the submerged lands and much of the world's future supplies of petroleum energy will come from beneath the sea.
But the industry's sea legs still are shaky in some respects and rougher sailing is ahead. There is a critical imbalance in the ratio of expenditures to returns. There is continuing Federal-State conflicts on offshore development which conceivably could spread to other points of difference. Discernible future trends of offshore development will require new technological developments with attending higher costs, placing even greater strain on the rate-of-return structure.
The situation today demands a new era of enlightened industry and governmental statesmanship if there is to be a continuation of successful offshore development.
Specific steps and proposals are suggested to attain this vital objective.
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