OIL: Alabama's First Gusher

With high hopes, Allen Moye, 39, a hard-scrabbling cotton planter and hog raiser, gave rights to Humble Oil & Refining Co. to drill a wildcat well on his 100-acre farm, just five miles above the Florida line, near Pollard, Ala. He knew the odds were long even though Humble, one of the biggest wildcat gamblers in the U.S., was doing the drilling. For 18 days, Moye, his wife and four children watched as the Humble bits sank a full mile below the cotton fields without striking anything. Then, under the glare of the night lights, at 5,945 ft., the drills...

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