In Celebration Of Yet Another Overpaid, Buddy-Buddy "Acquisition/Consolidation" in the Permian Basin Between Pioneer Resources and Double Point Energy, Oily Stuff Dug Up This Old Post From the Past On What We Believe Midland County, Texas Will Look Like In the Future.
The Year 2027
This is an area just south of the former city of Midland, off FM 349; these wells are all horizontal Wolfcamp wells that were drilled on 20 acre spacing back in 2024. Each one of these wells makes 3-4 BOPD, 140 BWPD and no gas. The good news is there are a lot of them... 439,000 in Midland County alone. 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 flown to El Paso from Wisconsin. Children in the region have to Google images of cows to do book reports on the history of West Texas.
After the Big Bust 4.0, Permian Basin shale operators were forced to take desperate measures to pay interest on massive long term debt. They started borrowing heavily from big banks in Beijing at 29% interest rates. The Permian rig count jumped to over 3,000 and the price of WTI eventually fell to to 89 cents; the ensuing Big Bust 5.0 also became known as the "China Syndrome," after an old Hollywood movie. CEO's that were forced to make personal guarantees with Chinese banks have now been required to move to China where they are helping build railroads and do laundry.
Total shale oil debt in America in 2027 is now a little north of $5 trillion dollars. Because of loan covenants, every drop of oil produced in the United States is exported; gasoline prices in St. Louis are $7.98 per gallon but near Shenshen they are as low as $1.39.
The EIA estimates there are 1,173,119 HZ shaley carbonate oil wells in the entire Permian Basin, not including 239,000 DUCs. Plugging and decommissioning costs of these wells has been estimated to exceed the GDP of Europe and Russia combined.
Next year the Bone Springs formation in the Delaware Basin will be declared a National Monument by America's current president, Lady Gaga, and drilling will henceforth be banned. The IPAA did not even protest; there was nothing left of the Bone Springs anyway.
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 make $9000 per day, plus expenses. Well interference (the parent-great, great grand child phenomena) 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 Land System, which now owns four states along the east coast of the US and most of Belgium. It now loans money to the US federal government...to pay interest on debt with China.
There was concern in 2024 that Midland County might actually run out of drillable Wolfcamp locations so a big push to the Cline Shale was made in the NE part of the basin. The Cine de-Clined to nothing in six months, dried up like a big prune, so everybody high tailed it back to the Wolfcamp to plead with the TRRC for Rule 37's. In late summer of '25 all of W. Texas ran completely out of fresh water and every man woman and child fled the Midland/Odessa area. That metropolis was bulldozed to make room for more drilling pads. Downtown Midland, near where the Petroleum Club use to be, is now one big frac pond.
Drilling on 20 Acre Spacing In the Old, Abandoned Midland-Odessa Airport, 2027
Pioneer Resources, the operator of the Midland County Wolfcamp Unit A, last year bought South Padre Island for its sand and viaducts built from Lake Michigan still provide ample source of fresh water for frac'ing in the Permian. Halliburton, however, is analyzing water from Hudson Bay in Canada for compatibility with Permian frac fluids and President Gaga got the Keystone Pipeline (9.0) started again... to supply frac source water to Texas.
After the big earthquake of 2025, where most of Culberson County slid over into New Mexico, a total of nine, 48 inch diameter pipelines were completed to Rivera Beach south of Kingsville. A reported 14 1/2 billion barrels of produced water per day is being discharged into Baffin Bay. Most of Pensacola, Florida is now underwater and New Orleans was moved upriver 50 miles. Folks in San Antonio have to go only as far as Beeville to get to the beach. Oil tankers for oil exports use the Guadalupe River that was dredged in 2025.
In 2027 steel toed boots are a thing of the past in the Texas oilfield because every ounce of steel in America is now buried in the Permian Basin.
The richest man in the world is still Elon Musk, who got much richer eight years ago when he got in the electric pumping unit (EPU) business. To supply the E to EPU's the only thing West Texas has more of than shale oil wells, is wind turbines. Last year somebody running for Railroad Commissioner said to the press that perhaps "Texas should not have flared all that gas back in the 20 teens after all," and he only received 37 votes, all from the Austin area.
Because every square foot of available land is necessary for a horizontal oil wells, 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 2026 and a portion of I-20 was entirely lost.
There have been no oilfield related traffic fatalities in the Permian Basin for the past three years because bumper to bumper traffic never exceeds 3 MPH. It now takes 22 hours to drive from Carlsbad to Fort Stockton, including detouring around all the sink holes and getting through TCEQ check points.
6:00 AM tower change in the Midland Basin.
Another glorious day in the Permian, 2027. 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 2010-2025; What In God's Name Happened?