Permian Basin

Permian Basin is in the Big Bend Country of Texas.


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The Permian Basin actually refers to a subterranean basin, dating to the Permian Period of the late Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Nowadays, it is buried deep beneath this part of the Edwards Plateau, yet it is this primordial basin which lends its name to the region, because it is responsible for the economic windfall which has made the area flourish; every year, the area pumps over 200 million barrels of oil from the buried basin strata. Indeed, driving through the countryside, it is impossible not to notice the hundreds of pumpjacks dotting the grassy landscape. Once collected, the oil is processed in the refineries of the Midland-Odessa area, which serves as headquarters for the Permian Basin oil and gas industry. The Permian Basin region is rated as the biggest inland petrochemical complex in the States.

Recently fracking has revived the economies of Odessa and Midland, but dramatic overcrowding and a rise in housing prices has become an unwanted side effect. There are literally no places available for rent as of 2012. Many people from around the country have found high paying, yet arduous and often dangerous, jobs in the area. Local law enforcement officials have migrated to these higher paying jobs resulting in an increase in crime and traffic accidents. The once slow paced towns in the area have been transformed into hectic, lawless "gold rush" communities. No where is this more evident than in the smaller surrounding towns like Pecos and Monahans. You'll see a stark contrast of old, neglected and abandoned buildings next to newly constructed apartments, motor lodges, hotels and restaurants. If you want to make some quick, hard money, go now because it won't last forever and when the "high" ends, the "crash" will be devastating. The lifelong locals are very familiar with a cyclic energy based economy.

Get in

By air

Midland has regular air service from major Texas cities and a few out-of-state places like Las Vegas

By car

I-20 cuts through the region as it comes westward from Dallas-Fort Worth to El Paso, and is the principal means of arriving by car. Some smaller highways provide other options for those driving in from the north or south.



Stay safe

Violent crime and theft is low throughout the Permian Basin, and both the hubs of Midland/Odessa and surrounding smaller towns should be considered very safe.

Natural hazards include particularly high heat in the summer; typical desert safety precautions should be observed. Wise travellers should plan indoor activities for the heat of the day and drink plenty of water at all times to avoid heat stroke and dehydration. Morning and evening are considerably cooler even in the summer, and are the best times for outdoor activities. Travellers should also be aware that, while infrequent, sand and dust storms occur in this region and can be very dangerous to drive in, much less be exposed to outdoors. Warning signs of impending sandstorm are very high winds and dark "clouds" that appear to be on the horizon, indicating dust blown up by winds at ground level. It is strongly advised to seek shelter during such storms, and if driving is necessary, to drive with extreme caution as winds can unexpectedly blow your vehicle over by several inches.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, June 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.