AUSTRALIA'S WESTERN OFFSHORE KEY TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY GOALS

Australia's hopes seem bright for beginning the next century with a level of oil self-sufficiency within 10 percentage points of its current 85% level. It's a prospect most forecasters had dismissed in the mid-1980s. At that time, oil production in Bass Strait, the country's mainstay for 25 years, had begun to decline. Many observers believed the country's level of self-sufficiency would fall with it, perhaps to as low as 40% by 2000.

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