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Oil Patch Stories And Other Lies


A light-hearted romp through the oilfields of West Texas as told by men who endured the grime and heat and bone-shaking

Tales I heard at My Tool Pusher’s Knee

The storytellers you meet in the oil-rich Permian Basin call themselves “old boys” and sometimes “old sumbitches.” They have sat at conference tables and dinner tables with royalty and rascals and oil tycoons who had hardly two coins to rub together a week before. They love their wives, children, and dogs, and there is nothing they’d rather do than tell each other stories they’ve heard a hundred times before. Most, they’ll say, are lies, but at their core lies the beating heard of the oil patch, where you have to be a gambler to survive. This collection of oil patch folklore contains a lot of humor, some tragedy, and vast generosity. Among the storytellers are Clayton Williams, Jr., oilman who once ran for governor of Texas, petroleum engineer T.B. O’Brien, who was sent to Kuwait to put out the fires resulting from the first President Bush’s war on Iraq, and others who have made and lost fortunes over and over again in the Permian Basin oilfields.

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