Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 53 of 94
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He was asked whether intentionally deviating a well to drain oil from an adjoining
lease constituted a violation of the criminal law. He felt such an act would
constitute theft under the General Theft Statute. He recommended legislation covering
theft of oil and making it a penal offense to knowingly produce oil from a slanted
Mr. Hale told him that the oil in the East Texas Field was being pushed by
water pressure toward the side where most of the slanted holes are. Briscoe's
answer was that it would be an unusual defense in a theft case if the victim was better
off after the theft than before. Briscoe was complimented by Mr. Hollowell as the
first district attorney to assume his responsibility in this field, and he thought the
people of Harris County were fortunate to have a man who would assume such a responsibility
holding that high public office.
That concluded the Houston public hearings,
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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/m1/53/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .