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Apache Corp. Discovers New Oil Field In Rural West Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Some people are concerned about drilling near Balmorhea State Park that is home to a popular spring-fed pool similar to Barton Springs in Austin.

Oil and gas company Apache Corporation says it’s discovered a large new oil field in a rural part of West Texas that could hold billions of barrels of oil.


The company says the “Alpine High” oil field was discovered after two years of exploration in a part of West Texas that’s seen some drilling, but nothing like Apache’s now hoping for.

The company’s acquired more than 300,000 acres in a part of southern Reeves County that spokesperson Castlen Kennedy says was previously thought to not contain much oil and gas.

“And what Apache really did was kinda challenge that thinking - and through new technology tried to understand that geology - and low and behold that traditional thinking was wrong,” Kennedy says.

The new wells that Apache has already drilled have angered some who worry the industry’s creeping into a corner of Texas where it’s had a much smaller presence until now.

Some West Texans have been particularly concerned about increased drilling’s effect on Balmorhea State Park -- home to a popular spring-fed pool similar to Barton Springs in Austin.

Kennedy says the company’s aware of that concern.

“We will not be drilling in the park - we will not be drilling under the park - we’re really gonna try to move east and north of the park,” Kennedy says.

She says the company will also not be drilling in or under the City of Balmorhea.

Apache is planning to pump more than a quarter of its total capital spending this year into this expansion.