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Core samples could hold clues to greater yields for industry

HOUSTON -- Cylinders of black-stained rocks laid out on a table here bear signs of the prolific production history of the East Texas Oil Field. Fred Wang, a research scientist with the University of Texas, Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology, said the core samples were taken from the field in the late 1930s, and their rich black color was proof to one explorer that a rich source of oil had just been struck. So far, the East Texas field, lying mainly in Rusk and Gregg counties, has given up about 5.4 billion barrels of crude oil, he estimated. But these days that field is in decline, so Wang and his team are relying on these core samples and the facility that stores them for their research into how enhanced oil recovery may spring this field back to life again.

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