The state’s latest oil and gas exploration incentive program, dubbed Frontier Basins, is also known as Middle Earth. Set aside fantastical images of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of hobbits and elves. This Middle Earth earned the name for its general location between existing incentive programs for oil and gas production on the North Slope and Cook Inlet—and state officials and potential oil and gas producers hope this Middle Earth is very real.
When the first modern shale well was drilled a couple of miles north of Fort Worth, Texas in the late-1990s, few would have believed what a global energy market game-changer it would turn out to be barely a decade removed.