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A Scott County "black gold" mine?

(AP/CBS)

(AP/CBS)

SCOTT COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) --- They say a strong economy needs a good foundation.

Well, what if your county's actual foundation is your economic strength?

Scott county could be in for the biggest oil boom since the 1980's.

Four companies are actively looking to drill into Fort Payne, an ancient lake that is home to pockets of oil.

Miller Energy, based in Huntsville, won't tell us how many wells they're planning but they say its "significant".

"We've drilled the first two horizontal oil wells in Fort Payne literally on the North American continent." Says Dr Gary Bible, a geologist with Miller. " It will create jobs, it will pay landowners royalties and it will pay a tax to the state."

They're the local guys but they won't be alone. Monteagle from Virginia is in the process of buying 22 leases from the county.

Companies from West Virginia and Brazil are also exploring Scott and Morgan counties.


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