As word of the Cline Shale oil field spreads throughout West Texas, the anticipation of Abilene participating in the oil boom other areas have enjoyed has triggered rumors of companies buying existing buildings and vacant properties.
The Cline Shale, a vast oil reservoir east of the Permian Basin, runs roughly 140 miles north-south and 70 miles wide through portions of Glasscock, Howard, Reagan, Sterling, Scurry, Fisher, Nolan, Coke, Irion, and Mitchell counties to the west of Abilene. Initial estimates indicated the Cline holds more than 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
There is so much speculation about what's going to happen with the Cline boom, and although Taylor County is on the far eastern edge of the activity, Robinett believes Taylor County, Abilene in particular, will be a player.
During a Cline Shale meeting in Snyder on Wednesday, Robinett joked to those in the affected counties "that eventually you're going to run out of room."
"But right now in the very beginning, logistically it makes more sense to get closer where (the oil companies) think it's going to happen," Robinett said. "But I think we'll see a lot of benefit from it."
As far as the Cline is concerned, Robinett said the companies involved in the operations are currently drilling test wells. Regular drilling is expected to start by the end of the year.
"I think when that starts, a lot of communities will know how to go forward and try to support that," he said. "Texas had oil forever and we've been through booms and we've been through busts. There are still a lot of people in the state who are cautious because whatever goes up must come down."
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