For years, the brittle rock beneath Wyo­ming’s Powder River Basin has whispered promises of greatness to wildcatters, geol­ogists and explorers seeking oil.

And for nearly as many years, the basin has been pitched as a sequel to the Bakken, heir apparent to the Eagle Ford, the Rockies’ an­swer to the Permian Basin.

Upstream companies see now as the time to make believers of the rest of the oil and gas world. After Samson Resources II LLC was largely dismantled by a $4 billion bankruptcy, its leaders chose the Powder River to make the company’s last stand.

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