Javier Blas, Columnist

Wall Street Is Finally Going to Make Money Off the Permian

Shale fracking changed the world but now the investors want their share of the bounty. That is going to have a profound effect on the planet.

An oilfield worker walks past a sign that reads "M.O.G.A 'Make Oil Great Again'" in downtown Midland.

Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg

The huge electronic display reads like a call to arms: “M.O.G.A. Make Oil Great Again.” The pixels soon become five drilling rigs, crude gushing from the top as if they were bottles of champagne.

It stands across the street from the Petroleum Club of Midland, the Texas town that’s the capital of the Permian oil basin. Midland is all about oil and money: Its main thoroughfare (where the club and sign are located) is called Wall Street; George H. W. Bush started his oil business here in the 1950s before entering politics; the main tourist attraction is a petroleum museum. The landscape is dotted with oil drilling pads and pumpjacks that surface the hydrocarbons that power the American economy.

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Wall Street Is Finally Going to Make Money Off the Permian