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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Slug  
  An underwater "barge", consisting of a giant tube for transporting oil.  

In the cold Arctic waters outside the Ram, pumps turned, hose nozzles sought out bottom muck for ballast. The plastic slug began to swell with its cargo of oil -- like a live thing drinking at a jugular in the earth.

The hands of the timelog swept around, around. Fifty-one hours at the well.

Full slug. It stretched out on the bottom behind the Ram, turgid with its cargo, now almost a mile long, held in delicate hydrostatic balance so that it would tow beneath the surface.

From Dragon in the Sea, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Doubleday in 1956
Additional resources -

Apparently, in 1958 the British Dunlop company began to produce and sell the "slug" barge idea as the "Dracone Barge". Both Arthur C. Clarke and Fritz Leiber recommended that Herbert take legal action, but he found that there is a two-year discovery period that lapsed after the publication of his book, so it was too late to file.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Dragon in the Sea
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