Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 64 of 94
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Mr. Hollowell: You as an independent tell us not to rely on that type
Mr. Payne: That's right.
The extensive testimony of these men shows clearly that the salt water injection
program as carried on by the East Texas Salt Water Disposal Company has
not resulted in a great injustice as claimed by Harrington. On the contrary, this
program has done a great public service in solving a pollution problem of great
magnitude. Without it, the waters of an important river and many lesser streams
would have been polluted, and great areas of land would have been laid waste by
salt water. In fact, the pollution problem was so serious that without the injection
program great parts of the East Texas Field on the west side, where the salt water
was produced, could not have been allowed to produce at all. Thus, the very areas
claimed by Harrington to have been injured by the injection were the greatest
beneficiaries of it. Furthermore, it was shown that the program had saved tremendous
unnecessary expenses by helping maintain the pressure high enough for
wells to flow instead of having to be pumped, and had increased the ultimate recovery
in the field by 600,000,000 barrels, or the equivalent of the entire yield
of six major oil fields. The entire program was carried on under the strict control
of the RRC, with numerous safeguards against injury to any landowner, and no well
was ever used for injection except after notice to all interested persons and a public
hearing. The evidence showed that the
ETSWDC had done a great public service.
Also, far from being a tool of the major companies as charged by Harrington, it has
particularly benefitted the independent producers who could not afford the expensive
facilities for injection as the majorss cotlld
The next line of inquiry involved the claims made by certain of the subpoenaed
operators that major companies were abusing the marginal well law. In response
to that request the Committee obtained testimony of 16 major companies.
Atlantic Refining Company witness, Gordon Lepley stated that 180 of their
416 wells were marginal. In 1962 three wells changed from marginal to proratable.
Two were deepened and one was perforated in a deeper zone. Two wells were plugged
because they had reached their economic limit. This was comparable to their well
status history for the past five years. They had never plugged wells capable of producing
oil in paying quantities. .Reworking operations were performed on 55 wells
for the principal purpose of shutting off water and coming up higher in the section
to continue the well on a natural flow. They had deviated no wells without RRC
Continental Oil Company witness, N.. E. Kellogg stated that they operate 96
wells, four of which are marginal. None changed from marginal to proratable in
1962. They have never had a well change from marginal to proratable. None of
their wells were plugged in 1962.
General American Oil Company witness, George ghodus, stated that they
operate 489 wells, 160 of which are marginal. Eight changed from marginal to
proratable in 1962.
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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/m1/64/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .