U.S. oil firms use shale know-how to revitalize old oilfields

Land is still cheap in the formation, which has helped lure more producers. Conoco leased its land for less than $5,000 an acre. That compares with as much as $75,000 an acre in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, the center of U.S. shale drilling and its largest oilfield.

About 350 Austin Chalk drilling permits were approved in the last 16 months, a nearly four-fold increase from the previous 16-month period, according to DrillingInfo.

Analysts say they expect more activity to spread to the Louisiana portion of the play. There are 3,500 Austin Chalk horizontal wells in Texas, but only 32 in Louisiana, according to Wood Mackenzie…


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