The Texas Towns That Live and Die on Oil

When oil is booming, the hotels, restaurants, and stores boom. When oil busts, businesses bust with it.

Bust Town: The Human Cost of Cheap Oil

 The residents of West Texas are accustomed to a life dependent on hydrocarbons. The small communities built into the flat desert are dotted with oil pumps and rigs, and the chemical smell of an oil field hangs in the air.

Near the interstate exit to Odessa, Tex., dozens of stagnant oil rigs are clustered together. Each idle rig means hundreds of people aren't working.
Near the interstate exit to Odessa, Tex., dozens of stagnant oil rigs are clustered together. Each idle rig means hundreds of people aren't working.
Adam Wolffbrandt



Here the economy rises and falls on drilling. When the drilling is good, everyone in the town benefits. When it's bad, most of West Texas feels the pinch. Oil prices have plunged as much as 75 percent since June 2014. That drop has dismal consequences for residents, and not just the ones working in oil fields. Bloomberg spoke with some of the people trying to endure the historic dip in oil prices. This video tells some of their stories.  

Adam Wolffbrandt

 

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