The Austin Chalk is legend. Some operators it’s made; others, it’s broken. In some areas, it’s quiet, without many or any natural fractures; in others, it’s noisy. It’s gassy here; it’s oily there. In a way, it’s ubiquitous. But, over the decades, it’s also been quixotic.

The traditional play in East Texas had been on the natural fractures. Operators today are tapping both the fractures as well as the matrix porosity. Increasingly, some are focusing on the quiet areas of the formation.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. bought East Texas-focused WildHorse Resource Development Corp. last year for $4 billion for its dual Eagle Ford and Chalk. Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp. bought EnerVest Ltd. property for its dual Eagle Ford and Chalk in both South and East Texas for $2.7 billion. Smaller operators are working to prove their eastern Chalk as well. Here’s a look at what each has found and plans.

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