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Oil Companies Wonder If It’s Worth Looking for Oil Anymore

More European producers are saying energy resources worth billions of dollars now might never be pumped out of the ground.

Oil and gas drilling workers on rig, silhouette, sunrise

Photographer: William H. Edwards/Getty Images

A few dots near the bottom corner of the world map in the southern Atlantic, the Falkland Islands were once at the forefront of a new era for the oil industry as companies scoured the planet for resources.

Yet a decade after the discovery of as much as 1.7 billion barrels of crude in surrounding waters, the British overseas territory known for sheep rearing and tension with Argentina looks as remote as ever. Rather than the next frontier, the project to extract energy risks being added to a list of what companies call “stranded assets” that could cost them huge sums to mothball.