This is an area just south of the former city of Midland, off FM 349, and these are all horizontal Wolfcamp wells that were drilled on 20 acre spacing back in 2022. Each one of these wells makes 3-4 BOPD and 140 BWPD. The good news is there are a lot of them... 439,000 in Midland County alone, in fact. The bad news is nobody has seen a blade of grass in this county in six years and a breakfast taco at Juanita's near Rankin costs $39 because chicken eggs now have to be shipped in from Wisconsin. America is still not energy independent but its has not been for lack of trying.
After the Big Bust of 2019 when then, President Donald Trump tweeted the price of oil down to $9 per barrel, the shale oil industry was forced to take desperate measures to pay interest on debt so it started borrowing heavily from big banks in Beijing. The Permian rig count jumped to over 3,000 and the price of oil eventually went to 89 cents. CEO's that were forced to make personal guarantees on those loans have now been required to migrate to China where they are helping build railroads and do laundry. Total shale oil debt is now over $9 trillion dollars. Because of loan covenants everything we produce in the US is now exported; gasoline prices in St. Louis are currently $7.98 per gallon but near Shenshen they are as low as $1.39.
There are now 1,873,119 HZ shaley carbonate oil wells in the Permian Basin. The Bone Springs formation was recently declared a National Monument by America's current president, Lady Gaga.
In the Midland Basin the stratigraphic interval from the Dean formation to the Wolfcamp D looks like a game of Pixie Stix; most folks don't even know where half of these laterals are anymore. Drilling consultants with magnetic ranging experience now make $9000 per day, plus expenses. Well interference got so bad years ago in Midland County it was necessary to unitize the entire county. There are reportedly 5 million royalty owners in the pay deck, including the University of Texas, who now owns four states along the east coast of the US and most of Belgium.
There was brief concern back in 2025 that Midland County might be running out of drillable Wolfcamp locations but then W. Texas ran completely out of fresh water and everyone fled the Midland/Odessa area. That metropolis is now being bulldozed down to make room for more drilling pads. The downtown Midland area, near where the Petroleum Club use to be, is now one big frac pond.
EOG, the operator of the Midland County Wolfcamp Unit A, last year bought South Padre Island for its frac sand and viaducts from Lake Michigan provide ample source of fresh water for frac'ing in the Permian. The EIA is expecting growth until 2033. Looking ahead to the future, Halliburton is analyzing water from Hudson Bay in Canada for compatibility with Permian frac fluids.
Nine 48 inch pipelines were recently completed to Rivera Beach south of Kingsville where 4 1/2 trillion barrels of produced water per day is being discharged into Baffin Bay under EPA regulations. Most of Pensacola Florida is now
underwater and New Orleans was moved
upriver 50 miles. Folks in San Antonio have to only go as far as Beeville to get to the beach. Tankers for oil exports now use the Guadalupe River that was dredged in 2025.
Because every square foot of available land is now necessary for a horizontal oil well nobody lives in the Permian Basin anymore. There is no room. They all commute back and forth to Abilene. Oilfield workers were relieved 14 months ago at the completion of the new I-18-R Tollway between Midland County and Abilene, necessary when the south eastern portion of Howard County subsided 29 feet in the summer of 2025 and I-20 was entirely lost. There have been no traffic fatalities on the Highway of Death near Pecos in three years. Rarely does bumper to bumper traffic there exceed 3 MPH; unfortunately it now takes 22 hours to drive from Carlsbad to Fort Stockton, including getting through all the check points.
6:00 AM tower change in the Midland Basin.
Another glorious day in the Permian, 2027. There are no more gas flares in the Permian Basin because that was all wasted by 2023. You can no longer air up a bicycle tire with associated gas in W. Texas.
A rare sighting of a jackrabbit recently occurred on Highway 18 SE of Wink and got a lot of publicity in the Houston Chronicle.
Sadly it was immediately squashed by a vacuum truck but not before some Halliburton hands were able to take this photograph. The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, now located in Ozona, intends to have the poor bastard stuffed and put in its new exhibit titled,
West Texas 1980-2012; What In God's Name Happened?