When we think about the boom in shale oil here in the United States, many of us chalk up its success to the advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Yes, these technologies were a very important part of the equation, but being able to access all of that oil requires something else as well: We need to know where it is.

This is an aspect of the shale boom many of us tend to forget. Unlike other traditional exploratory efforts, we have known where these shale oil deposits were for decades. This has allowed shale drilling specialists like Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) to have a 97% success rate on exploratory wells versus the 80% range for big oil players like Chevron (NYSE:CVX). Find out how this high probability of success impacts the investment decisions of shale drillers like Pioneer and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) by tuning into the video below.

What will be 2014's version of Core Labs?
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer really nailed his 2013 top stock pick with oil services company Core Labs, which shot up a spectacular 75% this year alone! Now, he has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that has the potential for a great year ahead. You can find out which stock it is in the special report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Simply click here and we'll give you free access to the name of this stock.

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter, @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool recommends Chevron. The Motley Fool owns shares of Devon Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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