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SPOTLIGHT

1. BUSINESS:

6 men set out to make it big in the emerging Mississippian

Daniel Smith wants to convince investors that he's standing on the ground floor of the next big oil and gas play, and that they can ride his new company all the way up. But unlike the established players of the shale boom, Smith doesn't have a lavish corporate headquarters to court wealthy financiers. He doesn't have a drilling team on staff. His entire company is a six-man crack team of energy businessmen who think they have their finger on a huge new energy opportunity. They've spent the last year gathering acreage in the Mississippian, an undeveloped play under Kansas and Oklahoma. Now they want sponsors for the drilling. Their pitch: The Mississippian may not be big now, but when it is, you're going to wish you had a piece.

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