Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 2 of 94
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It will probably go down in history as the seven days that changed the face
and future of the Texas oil and gas industry. Although the investigation centered
in East Texas, the findings and results of those seven days of public hearings
have state-wide and even national significance.
In early 1962 this Committee received requests to investigate reports of
slanted wells, marginal well violations and a suspected conspiracy involving
operators, drilling contractors, third party servicing companies and Railroad
Commission (RRC) employees. This Committee, as always, was reluctant to
intrude into any area in which either local or state officials were properly discharging
their duties. Therefore, Colonel Homer Garrison was requested to
brief the Committee on intelligence then known to the DPS. A meeting was
called in Austin where the Committee was briefed on the work then being done.
Thereafter, the Attorney General's office, Railroad Commission and DPS accelerated
their activities. Injunction suits and damage suits were being filed,
chlarges and counter-charges were filling the air. These rapidly breaking events
indicated a need for legislative inquiry.
Or June 17th the Committee announced it was beginning a studv of the
S'tuation. House Speaker Turman called for a full-fledged probe by the Comrnittee.
Turman said the drilling of deviated wells had produced many rurors
and charges which he felt should be investigated for the good of the oil industry
which is so vital to the economy of our state. He suggested an investigation
could accomplish the following purposes:
1, Develop the facts in order that the public might be properly infor-med
and rumors and baseless charges disspelled.
2, Demorstrate that this was a state problem which we could handle withouj
the need for intervention from without our boundaries,
3, Lay the ground work for such legislation that may be needed to prevent
a future recurrence.
Chairman Ballman instructed Committee Counsel David A. Witts of Dallas
to immediately coordinate with other state agencies and prepare a preliminary
report for the Committee.
The Railroad Commission prepared a list of 60 operators with 162 leases
on which there was circumstantial basis for suspecting slant wells. East Texas
District Supervisor Roy Payne wrote a letter to each operator on the list advising
that the Commission intended to run inclination surveys on one or more wells
on each lease and that the operator would be required to prepare the designated
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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/m1/2/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .