Six oil giants operating the nation's largest oil field at Prudhoe Bay are investing $1.1 billion to increase natural gas handling capacity and boost declining oil production. BP, Arco, Exxon, Phillips, Mobil and Chevron will build and install a huge centralized natural gas handling facility that ARCO will operate.

The FDIC is being sued by the Office and Professional International Employees Union, representing about 350 dismissed National Bank of Washington employees and alleging that the FDIC reneged on promises to honor nearly $1 million worth of health care packages and severance agreements when the agency sold the bank.

Planning Research Corp. of McLean won 12 contracts worth a total of $12.4 million from state and local agencies in the United States and Canada. PRC will provide equipment that police and fire departments, jails and courts will use for communications and record-keeping.

GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney will study the feasibility of developing a supersonic transport engine.

Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca said he will argue that his company can't afford to be as generous with its workers as Ford and GM, but UAW union officials said his pleadings will fall on deaf ears.

May Department Stores, parent of the Hecht Co., will buy the Thalhimers department store chain of Richmond from Carter Hawley Hale Stores for $325 million. The chain operates eight stores in Richmond and 18 others throughout the South.

Consumer borrowing in the United States increased $2.09 billion in August at an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent following a $4.73 billion gain in July, the Federal Reserve said.