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. This modern-day gold rush has sent both big oil companies and scrappy start-ups scrambling to secure a piece of the action. Texas Monthly’s Christian Wallace follows characters along every rung of the oil field ladder, from the executive cutting billion-dollar deals to the itinerant pipeline worker risking life and limb, and from the traveling exotic dancer following the trail of money to those who worry that our planet is on a path to destruction. Meet the people cashing in and those just trying to get by as the world around them is turned upside down.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • Geumpyhistory
    Great narration, thoughtful interviews and explainers that are an indictment of the troubles with the industry, rather than a knee-jerk reaction that usually serves only to hurt the local people whose economy has been designed to rely on it.
  • Baffldovrit
    Boobtown Episode Chick
    I’d have given 5 stars, but the affected “stripper speech” of the female narrator, when interviewing people, is so bizarre & annoying, it’s hard to get past. Do the presenters not listen beforehand? And if so, is this considered up to journalistic standard? Yikes!
  • Small business shopper
    Well done and very imformative
    I have loved seeing West Texas during the years my kids went to Texas Tech. The host does a great job describing people and the land of Wear Texas. Learned so much about the oil and gas industry of Texas.
  • Shafa1969
    West Texas
    I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. I hope you do another season. I’m from West Texas and it’s very interesting to listen to the history of the country out here.
  • DLS01/
    As a native West Texan I was intrigued about this podcast. I was hopeful it would be an informative and interesting dive into the petroleum world of the Permian. While there are occasional historical facts, halfway through it becomes clear that it’s really just a political piece. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising since it’s put forth by Texas Monthly. Perhaps just once Texas Monthly you could utilize your media platform to inform and interest a citizen without hitting them over the head with your policy umbrella. You could be better than this, shame you continually choose not to.
  • jayleah1987
    Awesome series
    Awesome narration and stories. Really enjoy it. Wish I had more to listen to!
  • blndgrrl
    I found this podcast after listening to America’s Girls (also by Texas Monthly). My husband and I REALLY enjoyed Boomtown. Extremely well written, full of personal stories and extremely well researched. The host does a fantastic job of giving you some history along with what’s happening now. We listened from beginning to end on a long car trip. Excellent podcast!
  • OhPharoah
    Holy Grail
    This is the podcast I’ve been searching for. You know, one that’s so well researched, well written, smart, well paced, engaging, AND delivered by a host that doesn’t lead with his ego that I’ll want to nonstop binge until the very end of the last episode? Yeah, this is the one! I highly, highly recommend this podcast.
  • Jayna89
    Nicely done
    This series was vastly informative, personal, and unbiased. I quite enjoyed the narrative and direction this story encompassed. Job well done y’all !!
  • Retzko1
    windmills and batteries
    You can’t build windmills and batteries without oil. And nobody talks about the unintended consequences such as disposal and waste of these batteries. Mining would have to stop completely… back to caves I guess?
  • Andrewside
    Informative and Even Handed
    Learned a lot from this podcast and listened to it driving to vacation. Got to see how this cycle impacts the entire community and how hard it is live and plan
  • katiefenster
    Wonderful podcast!
    I listened to this whole podcast in two days while painting my house. It moves along quick enough to keep your interest yet is detailed enough to really learn about these topics. Looking forward to more podcasts (hopefully) by Christian!
  • wahistorian
    Boomtowns from many perspectives
    ‘Boomtown’ is a fascinating look at the rise and fall of oil towns, specifically in Texas’s Permian Basin but by extension in other states, too. The series comes at the topic from some unexpected perspectives, including the tension between lifelong ranchers and oil drillers; the two episodes on sex workers were particularly eye-opening. Well worth the time.
  • anthony sti
    We crash
    Five stars.
  • Nanner611
    So informative yet very entertaining! So well done. Enjoyed every minute of it!
  • JJShrop
    I loved this podcast. The series provides historical perspective on a key part of the US economy. It is also a story of human interest as it covers the innovators, billionaires, the hard hats, and the surrounding businesses to support the industry. I was fascinated by the colorful stories of some and moved by the up-close coverage of the families that are dependent on oil-prices to sustain a living. Thank you, Christian Wallace, for this podcast.
  • Rlmurra2
    Good & Interesting!
    I found this podcast interesting and educational. I like that while the host is from the Permian, I didn’t feel like he was pressing listeners to oppose renewable energy or be more “for” oil & gas. It was good reporting and I like learning about the Permian and the culture, landscape and other things about oil & gas that I didn’t know.
  • Filly Bu$ter
    sick sponsors, good podcast
    I am unsubscribing. In one side you are on the side of climate & workers, on the other you (implicitly) support the dark web & those unpatriotic “patriots.” Are you so desperate?
  • Maggie08102008
    Great Soundtrack
    Love the soundtrack love that steel guitar
  • rookieOY
    5 ⭐️ listen to
    If your not petroleum educated and not familiar with one of the top areas for the oil industry areas in the nation then a must listen. If you are familiar then still a must listen to learn stories that may or may not be in the headlines
  • ThunderRoad07
    Interesting story!
    Had no idea what he was saying at first - oil is a one syllable word in Texas I guess! Very interesting story. Well done.
  • Evergreen30
    Oh So Good
    I accidentally tripped and fell into West Texas and I can’t get enough! Not only is Christian is an amazing writer and story teller but the story of Boomtown is captivating. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about the oil and gas industry in the US. The series is informative, but so personal, which makes it’s so good.
  • Flickster1000
    Wonderful podcast
    Interesting topic and the host is pitch perfect.
  • jmark93
    Worth the time!
    I have lived in Texas my whole life. Lots of information and facets of this area of Texas that I had never considered. The last interview with the reporters parents was a great ending about life in the Permian Basin.
  • Melchor214
  • 385483
    Entertaining but shallow analysis
    Was it entertaining? Yes. Did I want more depth? Yes. Is Chris Wallace an amazing voice to listen to? Yes. For me, the series was a shallow look that at the oil industry and its tendrils that only gestures at deeper topics. I wish there had been a more complex analysis of relationship between the degradation of land and the degradation of human bodies, the complexity of sex work (by far the best episodes), the environment and politics of oil. Ultimately, I felt like the series didn’t grapple enough with exploitation.
  • Random clever name
    Started off great then fizzled.
    Episodes 1-4 are great - talking about the actual oil patch, the people, the Permian Basin. Then they wasted two episodes on “sex workers” in the patch - wasting time on a drive-in coffee shop where the women wear lingerie and narrated by a woman with terminal vocal fry. Unlistenable and completely off track.
  • D8532589
    I didn’t know anything about west texas or oil and this podcast was extremely well done. I loved it and I have zero interest in any of it. Great work.
  • Adventure Pirate
    Very entertaining and informative
    Listened to it during a road trip. We are from IA so don’t know much about the oil industry. Very well done!
  • KipMcN
    Such a thoughtful well made podcast. Breaks my heart that it’s over.
  • Bre3398
    Great Listen Binge Worthy
    Supper informative and leaves me wanting to learn more.
  • Mighty man One ..
    Worth a listen
    Lots of misinformation and political talk plague most people’s understanding of “big oil” and “fracking”. This podcast does a fantastic job of capturing the heart of the industry, the economics of oil booms, and its impact on people. Very well done!
  • lyontracker
    This very very interesting and well done podcast gave me an even greater love for my beautiful home state of Texas!! So proud to be a Texan!!💖
  • DirtyLulu
    Awesome story about the Wild West Texas!!
    For those who don’t know about the Oil and Gas industry and how important the Permian Basin is- this podcast is for you. I’ve recommended it to all my friends. It offers a true insight to the people who live and die with the price per barrel, and the stalwart families that have survived it all.
  • Bakersone
    Enjoyed it!
    I really enjoyed this history of Texas! Well done Christian Wallace! It was hard to get thru episodes 5&6 with Susan narrating, however. Not a good podcast voice. Teenage valley girl comes to mind.
  • kleinwild
    Great Listen
    Worth a listen!
  • Gesahero
    Great Podcast
    Lots of good information, interesting people and fantastic stories. Really enjoyed it. I hope Christian Wallace does another podcast soon of the same caliber.
  • FiveisFun
    Great Overview of Oil
    This is the first in-depth dive into oil that I have seen. Season 2 you need to interview some powerful oil executives. Keep up the great work covering how the oil booms and busts work.
  • Oil&Gas Gals
    Well written and thought out podcast!! Entertaining while also very informative. Give us another season!!
  • garystacy
    I grew up in the oilfield. McCamey was my home and I worked in the oilfield around Big Lake. I escaped via the US Navy before the 80’s bust. Great podcast. Brings back a lot of memories.
  • dumford
    I feel vinegarized!
    This podcast is awesome! Highly entertaining and illuminating. Chock full of colorful characters. Well done! 👏🏼
  • Dr James Ray Edwards, DC
    Good Show and Exactly Right
    I lived this experience in real time. “Biggest boom in history!” “This is THE big one, gonna last 10 years!” Sadly if it sounds too is. 5 stars for Pake Rossi - got all 4 albums on Apple Music. Keep pickin’ brother, you’re the Permian Chris Knight.
  • Terry_Full
    Texas is a State of Mind
    What a great podcast. Growing up in a small town in Texas is something you can’t explain. It’s just something you know and it’s not something anyone outside of it can fully appreciate. Thank you for talking about it. I miss Texas so dang much.
  • briarwoodlane
    Really good storytelling. Wallace has a good way of transporting you to a different part of the world.
  • Lek387
    Loved learning about my state
    Listening to the beginning of this podcast in 2020 was like a terrible dramatic irony whenever they talked about the boom weakening in 2019, since we all knew the result during this pandemic. As a Houston native, there’s so much history and culture underlying our big oil business but I loved hearing the stories of the west Texas locals and how their work fuels the Houston businesses on this side.
  • Rlment
    Highly recommend
    Love it! I live in west Texas and you’re doing a great job of telling the true west Texas story.
  • working hard with podcasts
    Thorough reporting
    This was so interesting since it explored so many different sides to an issue that I did not know much about. I also really liked the interjection of your family and other locals in the interviews. Will definitely recommend.
  • Alexa9909
    Informative and fascinating
    I’ve been listening to this podcast over the past few days, and I have found it fascinating and so helpful and informative. I’ve never personally been to West Texas, but I feel as though I’ve visited in person. Your love for the people and land I’ve learned about is very evident throughout this series. There’s much about the history of oil and our country’s dependence on it that I’ve never researched, your podcast was like a week long trip through google in 11 episodes. Brilliantly done. Thank you for the bonus episode too.
  • Schoncher
    Good listen
    Give it sometime and don’t quit after one episode. The story gets interesting. There’s a great sub-podcast, with the tongue in cheek name, Boobtown, in the middle, that actually provides a really interesting, if not sad, side to this comprehensive story.
  • ebsl xfe
    Thank you!
    Thank you for doing a follow up during the oil price war!
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