Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 18 of 94
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William Joe James, also known as "Whipstock: Bill," had worked in the East
Texas Field for 25 years. He was employed by Ebro Oil Co., in October, 1958,
to set up the pipe connections and tank batteries on the Jacobs Lease. Plastic pipe
was used to prevent detection of lines with a magnetic device. The hook-up permitted
oil to be taken off the lease without its ever going into the tank battery. This
arrangement permitted oil to be stolen from the lease and sold as hot oil. When
asked how many directional wells he had worked on, he replied, "Whew, God only
knows," but guessed at about 100. The situation of directional drilling had become
very acute from 1958 to June, 1962 when the investigation broke, at which time he
stated, "it came to a screeching halt. " He had worked for Gibson Drilling Company,
Carter-Jones Drilling Company, Crusader Oil Company, Stroud Brothers and Ed
Hearne, Sr., all of whom had drilled directional wells. The cost of the drilling of
kicked wells was approximately $35,000 in comparison to a $5,000 cost for a
straight well. He knew of approximately 300 wells that were kicked around the
whole East Texas Field. Some of the drillers were so good in East Texas "they
can put it on a dime if you lay it out there 3,000 feet."
Some of the tricks he described to conceal a slant well were:
(1) A pump jack on either flowing pr dummy wells to make it look like a
pumper, e.g., Jacobs 2-A.
(2) Trick photography, e. g., running an exposed print of a straight hole
down a kicked well.
(3) Drill 2 holes side by side and then run the surveys down the straight hole.
(4) Cut a window in the casing and kick the well.
Robert Flowers, Assistant Attorney General. Mr. Flowers developed the
bribe charges on Nelson Decker, RRC employee from 1941 until his dismissal in
May, 1962.Although his 1961 salary was $430 per month, he had deposited nonsalary
payments in banks from 1957 to 1962 totalling approximately $47,000.
I. The Brett Lease. On December 5, 1957 $2,500 was deposited to the
account of Nelson Decker in the Citizens State Bank in Kilgore. The deposit consisted
of five checks:
1. $625.00 check signed by M. Massad, marked "commission."
2. Two checks totalling $625.00 signed by W. H. Lee, Trustee for Janie Ruth
and David Baton, marked "commission Brett Lease."
3. $312. 50 check signed by Jack Peterson, marked "commission Brett Lease."
4. $312. 50 check signed by J. W. Baton, marked "commission on Brett Lease. "
5. $625. 00 check signed by Reid Allgood, "1-8--$312. 50" and a writing that
appeared to be'Robert V. 1/8 $132. 50."
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Texas Legislature. House of Representatives. General Investigating Committee. Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas, book, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5869/m1/18/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .