National Geographic : 1981 Oct
WERE EXXON We're JoanWilliams, bringing a dying oil field back to life. Joan Williams is helping to squeeze 2,400 barrels ofoileachdayoutofa barren West Texas desert. As a Senior Project Engineer at Exxon's Sand Hills field, she's helped an old oil patch make a startling comeback. Just a few years ago, this field was practically worthless. Much of the oil and natural gas that lay trapped in rock formations beneath Sand Hills was too expensive to reach. But when world oil prices went up, costly techniques for reaching American energy became more economic. Now, more than twice the original number of wells is being drilled. And the pockets of oil and gas that remain between the old wells are being tapped. This has made Sand Hills one of the most active fields in the Southwest today. Williams helps pick the locations for new drilling. Along with hundreds of other Exxon people work ing in this part of Texas, she's supplying America with American energy.