15 episodes

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.

"A beautiful ride filled with levity, even as it delivers troubling forecasts for the future" - The Atlantic

2021 Webby Award Honoree, Podcast Documentary

Boomtown Imperative

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 3.3K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

"A beautiful ride filled with levity, even as it delivers troubling forecasts for the future" - The Atlantic

2021 Webby Award Honoree, Podcast Documentary

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Highway To Hell

    Highway To Hell

    Host Christian Wallace takes us back to his hometown in the Permian Basin, which is nearly unrecognizable to him today. We meet a few of the people whose lives have been upended by the biggest oil boom in U.S. history.
    Upstart: Find out how low your Upstart rate is at Upstart.com/Boomtown.
    Native: Get 20% off your first purchase at NativeDeodorant.com, using promo code BOOMTOWN at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 47 min
    Rise of the Permian

    Rise of the Permian

    We go back to 1923, and the Santa Rita No. 1, the well that put West Texas oil on the map. We recount the beginnings of rowdy boomtowns and the swaggering wildcatters whose influence would eventually lead all the way to the White House.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 39 min
    Dust to Dust | Chapter 3

    Dust to Dust | Chapter 3

    A devastating bust transforms the Permian from a promised land into a wasteland. Then, thanks to a quiet, unassuming Texas oilman named George Mitchell, the region comes roaring back.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 41 min
    Life and Death on the Rig | Chapter 4

    Life and Death on the Rig | Chapter 4

    In the Permian Basin, the rewards of roughnecking come with incredible risk. For one Andrews family, that danger became a true nightmare.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 34 min
    Boobtown | Chapter 5

    Boobtown | Chapter 5

    We explore a different kind of boom in the Permian Basin. Meet the women working at a lingerie coffee shop, a “breastaurant,” and two area strip clubs.

    Upstart: Find out how low your rate is at Upstart.com/boomtown.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 36 min
    A Thin Line | Chapter 6

    A Thin Line | Chapter 6

    During booms, the Permian Basin sees a rise in prostitution charges. But misperceptions and stereotypes about sex work have led to policies that may actually harm the women involved.

    SimpliSafe: Get free shipping plus a 60-day money-back guarantee at SimpliSafe.com/boomtown
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3.3K Ratings

3.3K Ratings

rk6217 ,

Obsessed

I spent part of my youth living in Lubbock. This podcast brought me back to those days and the true beauty of West Texas. It’s an incredible collection of stories and people that have shaped the region. I long for our country to go back to realizing that simple things matter. Love for the land, your family, your heritage…and above all people, “neighboring” as they call it in the Permian basin.
I would love to hear an update in 2024 of the people and places discussed in the first season. So much has changed in TX since 2021 that it would be fascinating to hear how things are now.
Once you start this podcast, you’ll want to finish all the episodes so prepare for a binge!

gfhjsrthjysior ,

Obsessed

I’m OBSESSED with this podcast. Such a fascinating story that touches so many industries and parts of life. Re-listening bc I loved it so much and it’s packed full of information.

Rubia gorda ,

Amazing and informative

I started listening to this only because my brother had been out near Andrews running a crew and wanted to know more about the area and history of oil rigging in West Texas. The history and stories are amazing! The way you interview and tell the stories kept me so engaged. Thank you so much for this podcast.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Inconceivable Truth
Wavland
This American Life
This American Life
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption
iHeartPodcasts
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
Soul Boom
Rainn Wilson

You Might Also Like

Chameleon: The Michigan Plot
Sony Music Entertainment & Campside Media
American Scandal
Wondery
Crooked City: Youngstown, OH
truth.media / Sony Music Entertainment
Texas Monthly True Crime: Shane and Sally
Texas Monthly
Varnamtown
PodcastOne
The Cost of Happiness: Tony Hsieh
Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci

More by Imperative Entertainment

In the Red Clay
Imperative Entertainment
Fox Hunter
Imperative Entertainment
The Red Note
Imperative Entertainment and Blue Guitar
The Baron of Botox
Imperative Entertainment
American Coyote
Imperative Entertainment and Pegalo Pictures
Gangster House
Imperative Entertainment