Small Texas County's 3 RV Parks Packed with Oil Drillers
One community in West Texas is busting at the seams as the boom hits them hard.
It's a quiet rural community where half the county's 5,000 residents live out of town, but Martin County is making a lot of noise lately boasting as the most active drilling site in Texas, KOSA-TV, Odessa, reported.
"We've had that title before, it's gone back and forth but at this time in April we've got the highest rig count in Texas," explains Martin County Sheriff John Woodward.
According to Baker Hughes, as of April 6 there are 49 active sites drilling for oil and gas in the county, and that doesn't come without a heavy increase in traffic.
"We've lost six people this year already in accidents and every one of them has tied into the oil field one way or another."
Sheriff Woodward says it’s not all bad news.
The county has seen its share of profit from the business. RV parks that didn't exist a year ago are now packed with temporary residents hoping to make it big off the rigs.
"The one in Stanton has always been plenty, but this one they filled up overnight once they got it established," referring to a new park off Interstate 20.
The sparsely populated county now has three RV parks at capacity.
Farmers and ranchers are getting in on the business too, selling their groundwater.
"As long as the landowner has access to good underground water they have plenty of business. The rigs drill in different areas, so the closer the water the faster they can keep things rolling."
Keeping the rigs rolling and their new businesses thriving.
Sheriff Woodward says even with the hotel and RV parks at capacity they rarely have any crime at those locations.