This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States. The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. From a November 15, 2016, USGS Report.
It turned out that, without knowing it, Michele and I had wandered into the Wolfcamp Shale area of the Midland Basin when we were forced to turn around and take another road into the Carlsbad area a couple of nights ago. Because we had really only seen it in the dark, we decided to detour back to see it in daylight. BTW, Michele was driving and I was photographing on this part of the trip. Riding through the Wolfcamp area was the closest I will ever get to Deadwood; this is the 21st Century equivalent to an old-timey Gold Rush, an Oil Rush with corporations doing the rushing. It was both hellishly repellant and strangely compelling.
All in all, while the area we wandered around is huge, I think the number of workers numbers in the thousands, not tens of thousands. However, they are continuing to survey and more people are arriving every day.
After several hours of traffic jamming with big trucks, we were almost out of gas, so we went back to Whites City to gas up. BTW, we were the only SUV we saw, everybody that wasn’t driving a huge truck hauling something was driving a huge pickup, like a Ford 250 or bigger.