Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 29 of 94
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All this has been shown by the evidence received in these
three shortdays, and the record is far from complete.
In addition to the slanted wells, the evidence indicates
that additional serious problems exist in our conservation
laws. The marginal well law, which permits supposedly
weak wells to produce every day in the month, results
in wells classified as marginal being allowed to produce
several times as much as the best wells in the field. The
evidence shows that there have been abuses in wells being
classified as marginal when in fact they are capable of
greater production. This has been done by means of false
reports of production tests and also by devices used to
reduce a well's capability. There is even evidence of
birds nesting in useless and unused pumping equipment
installed on a well actually capable of flowing 200 barrels
a day without a pump.
There has been testimony about needs for legislation of
several types: to strengthen our bribery laws; to make
theft of oil by underground trespass an offense,; to publish
false statements in reports filed with government agencies
without the necessity of proving a false oath before a notary
who is often an employee of the person filing the report; to
provide for venue in prosecutions under such laws; to improve
the organization and administration of the Railroad
Commission; and to clarify its authority to require operators
to prepare wells for tests by the commission; and to provide
for continuity of administration by the commission in event
of disability of one or more members.
To sum it up, the evidence here has shown the violation
of the laws of this state on a scale that is shocking. The
evidence has also shown the existence of numerous problems
in the field of conservation of oil and gas and the need for
legislation of several types. The evidence has also shown
a need for further hearings to be held by this Committee to
further develop the facts to enable it to make its report to
Thereupon, Chairman Ballman gavelled into recess the first three days of
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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/m1/29/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .