Squeezing Out Every Drop

In Brunei, Shell has figured out how to extract rich but scattered depositsa technique it plans to roll out worldwide

After a 20-minute flight from the Sultanate of Brunei, the helicopter lands on a massive oil drilling platform in the rolling blue waters of the South China Sea. The noise from whining generators and spinning pipe is almost unbearable. On the slick deck, roughnecks in red coveralls wrestle to free up pipe stuck miles down the well hole in the field run by Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS) local affiliate. "I have been drilling for 22 years, and this is the most challenging I've ever seen," says Peter Spencer, chief driller on the rig.

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