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Once unprofitable West Texas oil play is now booming Published: April 8, 2013

The East Texas Field made its name in the oil industry as "The Black Giant." But the nickname hung on West Texas' Spraberry formation during the 1960s wasn't nearly as inspiring.

It was "The Largest Uneconomic Oil Play in the World."
But today, with oil prices approaching $100 a barrel and technology advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the field discovered in 1943 is part of a resurgence of oil and gas production in the venerable Permian Basin. Exploration has exploded in the area, and among the prime targets is the Wolfcamp Shale beneath the Spraberry, a pairing that producers in recent years have taken to calling the Wolfberry.

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