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Advances in drilling technology are making what was once thought old new again, as the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeast New Mexico sees an exploration renaissance, according to a report in Oilprice.com.

An oil pump operates in the Permian Basin oil field near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Joe Raedle | Hulton Archive | Getty Images
An oil pump operates in the Permian Basin oil field near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

As of last fall, horizontal and "directional" rigs—meaning rigs that don't drill vertically—surpassed vertical wells in number. As recently as 12 years ago, "virtually all" wells in Permian Basin were vertical, the report said.

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas has grown to 560, and spending by firms in the region is up 21 percent from last year.

For the full story in Oilprice.com, click here.

By CNBC.com staff.

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