LONDON: The waters around Britain's northeast coast are storm-torn and treacherous. In winter, shipping is ravaged by howling 100 m.p.h. gales and lashed by towering waves. Yet it is precisely in this desolate sector of the North Sea that men are fighting the elements in search of the oil which will give Britain hope for the future. North Sea oil is the catalyst upon which all optimism that Britain can pull through her present desperate economic straits is based. In Washington in January, Prime Minister Harold Wilson reflected this optimism when he forecast that Britain would reach self-sufficiency in oil by 1980: "A Britain built on coal and surrounded by oil will be making a major contribution to the solution of the world 's energy and economic problems," But is Britain's future really that rosy? Will North Sea oil prove to be the panacea to all the nation's problems?
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