Schuyler Wight is a fourth-generation rancher who has raised longhorn cattle outside Midland for decades. Wight is no geologist, but over the years, he’s had to familiarize himself with what lies underground. Scattered across his sprawling 20,000-acre ranch are more than 100 abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by wildcatters who drilled in random locations for decades looking for oil. Many were unsuccessful, but the drilling opened up layers of porous rock, revealing water and minerals.
Rather than cap the holes, the wildcatters and their oil companies — now long gone — transferred ownership of unproductive wells to the previous owners of Wight’s ranch to be used as water wells, known as P-13 wells.
Read more from Amal Ahmed with The Texas Tribune here.