In the glitzy urban centers of Texas, people like to joke that far West Texas beyond the Pecos River is not the end of the earth—but you can sure see it from there. However, that perception has changed lately. Energy investors now view the scrubby, remote region with a much more positive eye—and in many cases, a wide-open check book.

Seemingly overnight, the Delaware Basin has become the hottest petroleum province in the country in terms of ever-higher acquisition prices, and even more remarkably, drilling success on a grand scale, thanks to Apache Corp.’s recent Alpine High discovery in Reeves County, which could change the face of West Texas. Apache said it could recover billions of barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from 4,000 to 5,000 feet of stacked pay.

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