T. Boone Pickens’s office cabinet.
Amid all the drink tickets, bikini-clad hostesses, and outrageous displays of wealth at the world’s largest expo for independent oilmen, I was determined to get some answers about the future of the business.
On October 27, 1900, an Austrian-born mining engineer named Anthony F. Lucas spudded in an oil well on a hill near Beaumont. He’d drilled a previous well in the vicinity to a depth of 575 feet before running out of money and giving up, but this time he’d secured financing
Buying into energy efficiency, one electric bill at a time.
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?
Wayland grew up in Midland and has worked in the oil industry for nearly a decade. He is now a mud engineer for Baker Hughes Drilling Fluids in Victoria.When I was growing up in Midland, I didn’t want anything to do with the oil field. In junior high, you learn
Jim Atkinson changes out his insulation.
(See “The Gospel According to Matthew,” to read the story.)
Executive editor S. C. Gwynne on researching the energy industry and writing about coal plants.
Facing an energy crisis, Texas is on the verge of a solution that will belch about five billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the next forty years. Breathe deeply—while you still can.
“The record’s clean. I’m sure that I haven’t done everything that everyone would like me to do. But I’ve never hurt anybody.”
The real Enron scandal.
The Houston-based energy giant put the pursuit of profits ahead of all other corporate goals, which fostered a climate of workaholism and paranoia. And that was only part of the problem.
Six months after the merger of Exxon and Mobil, a tally of the winners and losers.
The biggest economic news in Texas is the merging of the electric and natural-gas utility industries in anticipation of the coming deregulation of electricity. Huge deals are in the works: Houston Industries, the parent of Houston Lighting and Power, is acquiring Houston-based NorAm, the nation’s third-largest gas utility; and Texas
The state’s big investor-owned utilities, aptly nicknamed IOUs, are in big trouble—and Wall Street knows it. Historically, the IOUs have been able to block damaging legislation calling for the deregulation of electricity and immediate rate cuts, but the once-friendly Public Utility Commission has turned against them. In a sweeping and
Why electricity is a supercharged political issue. Plus: Who cares about the Democrats running for U.S. Senate?
It’s not enough to say that associate editor Helen Thorpe was a fish out of water while reporting her story on the new oil plays in the Gulf of Mexico (“Oil and Water,”). She was really a fish out of water on the water. Three different times, the
There’s black gold in the South American rain forest—lots of it. Can the oil companies get it out without ruining the jungle and the way of life of the Indians who live there? The perils of drilling in the heart of darkness.
Boone Pickens and his protégé, David Batchelder, built Mesa Petroleum into an energy giant. Now Pickens’ empire is crumbling and his former aide is leading the charge against him.
Citizens groups in Corpus Christi blame pollution for high cance rates—but they must prove it.
With the end of the cold war, the Pantex nuclear facility is dismantling its bombs. Will nearby Amarillo’s environment and economy get blown to pieces?
Ten years ago I guess you could call yourself a Texan if you hadn’t been to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, but an easy conversance with the OTC and its ways certainly bolstered your credentials. Back then the OTC was, like riding a horse or drinking a beer in
My father loved his job at a Gulf Coast oil refinery. In fact, he loved it to death.
“Guys like me like Iraq,” says Houston oilman Oscar Wyatt. “That’s the way the real world works, baby.”
Don’t give up on oil yet, Texas. Come along to Pearsall, deep in the brush country, and learn how the new oil boom is different from the old.
Are customers of the Comanche Peak nuclear plant better off with safety advocate Juanita Ellis on the inside or the outside?
An entrepreneur captures customers in public rest rooms. A high-tech plant moves from oil to medicine. Space and biomedical manufacturing are finally off the drawing boards. And a former union boss becomes a bingo mogul.
Engineer Saba Haregot’s love affair with Houston (it’s not just all those job offers). How natural gas is helping to reinflate the economy. And a shuttered plant that tempers oil pipe opens up.
This story is from Texas Monthly’s archives. We have left the text as it was originally published to maintain a clear historical record. Read more here about our archive digitization project. Once Texans thought the boom would never end. Then they thought the bust would
A lot stronger and more hospitable than barbed wire, this is one of those good fences that make good neighbors.
Times are rotten for refineries.
Once an oil-field service boomtown, Alice doesn’t live well anymore.
Despite all the mewling from the oil patch, there are still ways to make money at $15 a barrel. Here’s our guide to surviving the terrible teens.
Judges take his money. Juries buy his bull. And when clients like Pennzoil need a tiger in their tank, they hire Joe Jamail.
The death of an oil well keeps an oil-field service company alive.
At a time when Texas seems to have lost its gift for creating fortunes, there has emerged a group of entrepreneurs who are making money by catering to the needs of people who are going broke.
Tapped by destiny, one man in Austin is forging an unlikely alliance between Texas oilmen and the friends of Israel.
So long, OPEC. So long, $27 oil. The Merc is king now.
At first, Hughes Tool used the count to plan its own future. Now an entire industry uses it to plan theirs.
People who have watched a certain prime-time soap opera think they know what goes on at the Petroleum Club. They don’t.
An old hand at Pickens-watching reveals the key to the Amarillo oilman’s corporate-takeover antics.
Assailed by presidents, skewered by senators, decried by the New York Times, the oil depletion allowance has survived it all. It helps to have friends in high places.
So you think that OPEC controls the price of oil and that the glut is hurting everybody in the oil business? Wrong. Traders on the international spot market are pulling the strings and getting rich in the process.
In 1883 the University of Texas got stuck with two million acres of West Texas scrubland. Then it hit oil, and the money started rolling in.
From his early days in Big Spring, Eugene Anderson wasn’t what he seemed; neither was the mysterious element he later claimed turned water into fuel.
Ed Jones rode the oil boom to a white-collar job. It was a short trip.
Don’t give up! There’s still money to be made finding oil. Up in Graham the Creswells are striking it rich with the help of Jesus and, er, creekology.
The quintessential wildcatter fills you in on free enterprise and Texas after oil.
Jack Young was the eighties’ oil boom in the flesh. Unfortunately, he also personifies the aftermath of the bust.