About the Area

The Permian Basin, home to Odessa and a number of nearby cities including Midland, is approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long. The basin was formed during the Permian Period, the final portion of the Paleozoic Era (approximately 280 million years ago). At one time the basin was an ocean filled with marine life and plants. As the ocean dried up, the decaying plants and animals helped form the gigantic pools of oil and gas that are still being taken from the basin.

Located in a region where the Comanche Indians once roamed, Odessa’s history as a settlement can be traced to the 1881 extension of the Texas & Pacific Railway across the south plains and the need to provide water for the steam engine.

Odessa is located in Ector County, approximately midway between Fort Worth and El Paso, and covers an area of 35.04 square miles situated in the heart of the Permian Basin, a vast oval of land (100,000 square miles). The Permian Basin was once covered by a shallow sea known as the Permian Sea, which was densely populated with life. Three of the state’s major land resources meet here -the High Plains, Trans Pecos and Edwards Plateau. These regions tend to have short grasses, sparse and usually scrubby tree growth, and limited rainfall.

Long noted for its domination of the national energy industry, (the Permian Basin holds approximately 18% of the nations crude oil and gas reserves), West Texas has made great strides in diversifying its economy. From high tech to higher education, the area continues to expand not only its national industrial foresight but also has begun to develop off-shore markets for its superior energy related technology.

The average mean temperature is 63 degrees. The average elevation is 2851 feet. Average annual rainfall is 15 inches.

Outstanding public education, with two junior colleges – Midland College and Odessa College – emphasizing academic excellence, and the University of Texas at Permian Basin, a four year institution providing training of the highest caliber. The Permian Basin Regional Academic Health Center, a medical teaching satellite of Texas Tech University, provides the latest in treatment and medical research to residents and the surrounding area.

Midland/Odessa/Big Spring is on the mainline of Union Pacific Railroad to all major market centers in the nation.