Boomtown

An 11-part podcast series from Texas Monthly and Imperative Entertainment.

Photograph by Nick Simonite

In a rugged corner of West Texas, billionaire wildcatters and roughnecks are fueling an oil boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics.

Boomtown is an eleven-part podcast series from Texas Monthly and Imperative Entertainment, with new episodes publishing every Tuesday starting December 10, 2019. Find the latest episode here, or dive deep into the Texas Monthly archives to read more about the Permian Basin and the Texas oil industry.

Boomtown, Episode 11: The Last Frontier

Record-breaking oil production in the Permian Basin has brought the boom to the Big Bend’s doorstep for the first time. Is it too late to save this pristine landscape?

big bend last frontier

Episodes

Wildcatters, Roughnecks, and Boll Weevils

Pickens, photographed outside Pampa, July 2008.
Feature

There Will Be Boone

Our most iconic oil and gas man, lately a water marauder and now a celebrated windcatter, has saved himself a couple of times in his eighty glorious years. Who’s to say he can’t save America?

Booms

That’s Oil, Folks!

Forget the Outer Continental Shelf. There’s a good old-fashioned boom happening in Midland, thanks to a crafty drilling technique that unlocked the secret reserves of the Permian Basin and revived the late, great West Texas oilman.

Busts

Life After Oil

Midland’s energy companies are still laying people off a decade after the bottom of the bust. But—surprise—the city’s economy is booming again.

Offshore

Deepwater Horizon explosion

Blowout

Four years after his indictment, one of the only people prosecuted for the Deepwater Horizon explosion tells his side of the story.

Oil and Water

Offshore drillers are finding mammoth reservoirs in places that were once considered barren, which is why the Gulf of Mexico is booming again.