Apache (APA) shouldn't get too far ahead of itself with its recent discovery of what could be as much as 3 billion barrels of pay dirt in Texas' Permian basin. It may need to tap a partner before it gets its hands dirty. Potential Candidates include Permian-focused drillers like Pioneer Resources (PXD) and Cimarex (XEC) , both of whose shares have already become overheated from hype in the region and this year's general recovery in crude prices. And getting in on Apache's new ground would certainly be a score for shareholders. The 307,000 drillable acres in the Alpine High region of the Permian was unveiled last week in an Apache earnings call, in which the Houston exploration company's chief, John Christmann, boasted that the expected $1,300 value per acre is "just amazing" and likely to come at a "very, very low entry cost." But not everyone is so confident. Apache shares are now up about 31% so far on the year.
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