The pages of Texas Monthly are filled with, as one might expect, stories about Texas life and culture. But the magazine is turning to a podcast to tell the story of the greatest oil boom in history. It has partnered with Imperative Entertainment to create the series Boomtown. The ten-episode podcast will take listeners to the West Texas region known as the Permian Basin, which over the past few years has become the most productive oil field in the country.
“When politicians talk about energy independence or fracking bans or the intensifying threats posed by climate change, the epicenter of that fossil fuel activity is West Texas,” the magazine said in an announcement about the show. “The oil boom that’s playing out there today is reshaping the world’s climate, economy—even our geopolitics. Yet few understand this place or the people who call it home.”
Boomtown is hosted by Texas Monthly staff writer Christian Wallace, who was raised in a small town in the region and spent a year working as a roughneck on oil rigs there. Other magazine staffers, including staff writer Leif Reigstad, will also make appearances on the podcast. In the series, they’ll serve up a Texas-sized cast of characters that includes everything from cowboys and high school football players to strippers and billionaire entrepreneurs.
“This unprecedented production has transformed the region from a depressed desert into a land of opportunity and wreaked plenty of havoc along the way,” said Wallace on the show’s preview. “Against all odds, the Permian Basin has become one of the most important swaths of land on Earth.”
The first episode of Boomtown was released Dec. 10 with new episodes set to publish weekly through February.