[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the January 2019 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

The fracked, horizontal, unconventional-resource bonanza seems ubiquitous across the Lower 48. It is not.

Vertical development of conventional resources is not only alive and well on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, proponents make a powerful case for its profitability over horizontal drilling and fracking—albeit while the sweet spots aren’t thousands of square miles in size.

Wells can cost 10% of those in shale. Leases can cost as little as 1%. And prices for crude are higher on the Gulf Coast. Louisiana Light Sweet (LLS) usually fetches a price near that of Brent and usually at a substantial premium over West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

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