Oilmen from Texas and Oklahoma swarm into Alberta in the wake of Leduc No. 1, the "Last Chance Well," that tapped into the vast reserves of oil under the rolling western plains. Wildcatters and promoters, colorful, larger-than-life, they work hard and play hard in pursuit of the fabled Black Gold. Local oil barons quickly join the Wildcat wells in the field, intrigue in the boardroom, sex in the bedroom, tycoons and corporate raiders, all drive an industry where the elusive prize lurks thousands of metres underground.
The search for that glittering prize draws men like tycoon Bill Crawford, staking his entire fortune on his wildcatter's instinct for the big stake, his rebellious daughter, Debbie, determined to carve out her own place in the male-dominated patch, Luke Willard, standing on the drilling rig floor and daring to call the devil up out of the hole, Margo Jones, ruthless journalist who will do anything for a sensational story. Hearts are broken, fortunes won and lost, as they and their venturesome contemporaries seek their destinies through the tumultuous decades of boom and bust, and build the Canadian oilpatch into the international powerhouse it is today.