Lunch & Learns Attract Huge Crowds

In an effort to increase awareness of OEPA and our mission of protecting the small conventional vertical producers and royalty owners, we have been offering a series of Lunch & Learn’s throughout the state in 2018.

These luncheons bring together oil and gas producers, vendors and interest holders for a unique experience where they have the opportunity to network and hear how OEPA is advocating for their rights at the state capitol, the commission and in the courts.

During each luncheon, guests enjoy casual networking time, a seated lunch and a short presentation about OEPA’s mission and progress from board members and legislators.

Since the program’s inception in early 2018, OEPA has hosted Lunch & Learn’s in 6 cities: Ardmore, Cleveland, Duncan, Oklahoma City, Seminole, and Tulsa with over 350 in total attendance. These numbers tell us that there are hundreds of producers around the state who are looking for someone to appreciate the problems they are facing.

At our luncheon in Ardmore at the end of August, over 75 attendees listened as a panel of lawyers and engineers provided their expertise and advice on always being proactive when dealing with any horizontal drilling activity. Sample letters were provided to send out to horizontal drillers when a vertical well owner receives notice of a horizontal completion to be installed near their well. See the letters here.

At our September Duncan lunch, our message was delivered perfectly by the legislators attending, stating that if you want representation at the capitol, you need to join OEPA. We had over 50 attendees, including numerous OCC District Field Staff. We were once again reminded that OEPA is the new voice of vertical producers in Oklahoma.

We have upcoming Lunch & Learn’s scheduled in Oklahoma City, Ada and Tulsa. Watch our website and your inbox for more information! We hope you will join us soon!

If you would like to help host a Lunch & Learn in your area, please call us at 580-332-8659 




Vertical oil well owners gain knowledge on an increasingly horizontal well-driven market

Drew Butler | The Daily Ardmoreite


On Friday, the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance put together a free luncheon to help vertical well owners protect their interests when damaged by horizontal wells. After lunch was served a panel discussion took place with lawyers and engineers providing their expertise and advice.

“The horizontal universe began 10 to 15 years ago and we’ve all been playing catch up to the reality of these very successful wells,” OEPA Chairman Dewey Bartlett said. “Unfortunately, it has been to the detriment of our friends, neighbors, and companies. Our livelihoods depend on our companies being vital. They also depend on our companies not being taken advantage of by those with very expensive lawyers and a regulatory environment that has yet to react to the reality of the horizontal universe.”

The primary advice was to always be proactive when dealing with any horizontal drilling that will be taking place near a vertical well you either own or operate. The panel agreed taking this step prevents potentially prolonged and costly legal activity.

“Try to be proactive and deal with the horizontal driller,” said panel member Jim Marshall. “They don’t want to damage your well, but I think everyone would like to have this negotiated beforehand rather than after the fact.”

Panel member Andrew Jackson provided some sample letters to send out to horizontal drillers when a vertical well owner receives notice of a horizontal completion to be installed near their well. These letters put the operator on notice of your interest.

“Part of that is how to prepare for the offset frack, what kind of cost you expect to recover, and how to keep you notified if something does happen.” He recommends sending out a certified letter to guarantee the recipient knows what your expectations are.

OEPA Regulatory Affairs Chairman Tom Dunlap closed the meeting by pointing out the situation wasn’t entirely negative.

“We’re there with the industry, it’s going to go forward, and we’re a part of it,” Dunlap said. “The horizontal drilling and the fracking for that drilling is good. We get more recovery so there is a major positive. Look what’s going on nationally and internationally. The country is doing well with all of this new stuff. We just have to think proactive on how to make this work. Just know what you’ve got and how to play your cards.”

Point of View: The rest of the story about fracking

The Oklahoman

Op-ed by Mike Cantrell, OEPA President


Let’s be clear, horizontal well drilling and fracking have been an economic boon for Oklahoma. It has provided a much-needed lifeline to the oil and gas industry and the Oklahoma economy over the last decade. No reasonable person can be against it as long as it is done responsibly and regulated properly.

Unfortunately, we are attempting to regulate horizontal drilling and fracking with rules and procedures developed for the vertical well universe. This must change. One of the unintended consequences of this activity that has received much attention is earthquakes. Fracking of horizontal wells has been tied to as many as 300 localized earthquakes in the past several years.

However, other unintended consequences haven’t received much-needed attention. The livelihoods of many Oklahoma families are being destroyed almost daily due to fracking of horizontal wells. Most horizontal wells are completed with a high-volume and high-pressure hydraulic fracturing procedure involving the injection of 4 million to 5 million barrels of water and chemicals and 4 million to 5 million pounds of sand injected at over 10,000 psi of pressure. Further, in the past year alone, the fracking of horizontal wells has been linked to 30-plus pollution incidents.

The fracking of horizontal wells has adversely impacted vertical wells as far as 1 1/2 to 2 miles away. This has occurred to hundreds if not thousands of vertical wells. A study commissioned by the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance found that, in Kingfisher County alone, more than 400 vertical wells were adversely impacted by horizontal well fracking over a two-year period. This represents a major loss of income from these vertical wells often owned by Oklahoma families and family owned small producers who have lived in our state for generations, which includes many OEPA members.

The livelihoods of many Oklahoma families are being destroyed daily by horizontal fracking. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission needs to be as vigilant in protecting the rights of vertical well owners and producers who have been here for generations, have found the oil and gas, and are producing it profitably, as they are aggressive in permitting this destruction by protecting horizontal well drillers.

Cantrell is president of the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance, an association composed of companies, operators, leasehold owners and royalty owners concerned with protecting the rights of conventional vertical oil and gas well producers.

Cantrell: Right-of-way disputes

Journal Record

Op-ed by Mike Cantrell, OEPA President


The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance supports the right of elected county commissioners to determine what is in the best interest of the residents in their respective counties when it comes to the use of the rights of way over which they have jurisdiction.

There is a dispute in Kingfisher County between horizontal oil and gas producers and the county’s commissioners regarding overlaying temporary produced water pipelines on top of the ground in the county road rights of way. The county commissioners determined that these lines constitute a safety hazard, damage both private and public property, exposing the county to potential liability, and must not be allowed.

The ability of companies to lay so-called temporary water lines in county rights of way is very beneficial to the companies needing to transport water from one location to another. But those benefits pale in comparison to the possibility of losing one Oklahoman’s life in an accident involving pipelines put on the surface of the right of ways of our county roads.

The OEPA has several members who reside or operate conventional vertical oil and gas wells in Kingfisher County. Our members are Oklahoma companies, operators, and leasehold and royalty owners concerned with protecting the rights of conventional vertical oil and gas well producers. Most of our members own their own companies and have lived and operated in Oklahoma for generations. While we vigorously support our members, we also support what is best for Oklahoma and its residents.

It’s unfortunate that heavy-handed methods and misrepresentations are being put forth by certain facets of our industry to justify the need to use the rights of way to increase profits, without counterbalancing that against the interests and protection of the county and its residents. While the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over oil and gas operations, that jurisdiction typically ends at the oil and gas lease line. We make no judgment on the practice of laying pipelines in county rights of ways. However, we do support the county commissioners’ right to decide how those areas are used.

Mike Cantrell is principal of Cantrell Investments LLC and serves as president for the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance.


Letter to Kingfisher County Commissioners

Dear Commissioners:

On behalf of the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance (OEPA) we want to express our support of your right, as the duly elected County Commissioners of Kingfisher County, to determine what is in the best interest of the citizens and voters of Kingfisher County. As County Commissioners you have the authority and obligation to look out for your constituents, and to be good stewards of the land and roads in Kingfisher County.

The OEPA has a number of members who reside in or who operate conventional vertical oil and gas wells in Kingfisher County. OEPA members are Oklahoma oil and gas companies, leasehold owners and royalty owners concerned with protecting the rights of conventional vertical oil and gas well producers. Many of our members own their own companies and have lived and operated in Oklahoma for generations. As the representative of conventional vertical well operators, we support what is best for Oklahoma and its citizens.

Your considered and deliberative approach to reaching your decision regarding the use of county right of way for temporary oil field pipelines is to be commended. We admire your courage in taking on the proponents of using the right of way for their own private use exactly as they want to use it, and who will stop at nothing to get their way. It is unfortunate that heavy handed methods are being used and misrepresentations are being put forth by certain facets of our industry to justify the need to use the right of way to increase profits, without counterbalancing that against the interests and protection of the County and its citizens.

This note of encouragement assumes no position on the underlying issue, merely on your right to self-determination on how the roads in Kingfisher County should be used.

If we can be of assistance in this matter, please feel free to contact us.


Dewey F. Bartlett, Chairman, OEPA

Mike Cantrell, Chairman, OEPA President, OEPA

Inaugural Annual Meeting Huge Success!

The 2018 OEPA Inaugural Annual Meeting was a huge success and exceeded all expectations, according to President Mike Cantrell and Chairman Dewey Bartlett, Jr. “The response from independent producers and vendors alike was simply overwhelming”, said President Mike Cantrell. “When you start something new like this, it’s like taking the risk of drilling a dry hole, you just don’t know what you are going to get until you put the bit in the ground.”
The day-long event took place on June 1st at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City and featured speakers and panelists on a variety of topics important to small vertical well producers in Oklahoma. Speakers consisted of Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy, Senator Greg Treat, Senator James Leewright, Representative Kyle Hilbert, Representative Kevin Wallace, Tim Baker, Tim Munson, and more. Over 15 Oklahoma legislators attended to network and learn more about our issues.
Moderator & Representative Zack Taylor said he has never seen such a crowd of small producers so attentive and packed into every session. ” It was incredible to look out into the crowd and see over 150 attendees, of which 90% were actual producers,” said Taylor. “I have never been to an oil and gas conference with this many attendees participating in each session.”
The room was also filled with exhibit booths of sponsors and vendors of the industry. Mickey Raney, Impact Energy, said, “Thank you for all the work and effort of putting the OEPA annual meeting together. It was well done and the panels and speakers were very informative. It also was held in Oklahoma and I felt like I was actually with the group that had independent producers interest in mind. We look forward to sponsoring again next year.”

Restore Oklahoma Now is withdrawing the initiative petition SQ 795

Restore Oklahoma Now is withdrawing the initiative petition SQ 795.

OEPA is in concert with RON in withdrawing this petition. OEPA has been the driving force behind this effort; with a lot of support from many others. We know many will be disappointed with this action. However, we believe it is much preferable for our Democratic form of representative government to work than to have to resort to the initiative petition process. The legislative process has worked. Teachers are getting an average of a $6,100 pay raise, which is $2,100 more than the petition drive would have gotten them at $4,000.

Having said that we, in concert with RON, are committed to supporting the 75% of the legislators that had the courage to vote for this emergency tax increase as those that are threatening to defeat them engage. We are also committed to opposing any effort to overturn this landmark legislation.

Read the press release below.


April 23, 2018



Initiative Petition on Teacher Pay, GPT Withdrawn


Contact:  Mickey Thompson, Executive Director,  Restore Oklahoma Now  405-640-2555

Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr., Chair, Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance  918-587-4154


OKLAHOMA CITY – The initiative petition seeking to pump $300+ million into public education by restoring the state’s gross production tax on new wells to seven percent has been withdrawn by organizers of the effort. The founder of Restore Oklahoma Now, Inc., said the group will focus instead on the 2018 legislative elections and participate in a broad coalition to defeat a possible veto referendum to repeal the teacher pay funding package passed last month.

“Restore Oklahoma Now was formed last summer with a single focus — to get our public school teachers a significant pay raise. We had lost faith in the Oklahoma Legislature. We thought taking the issue to voters was the only solution for our teachers,” executive director Mickey Thompson said. “We believe the presence of our initiative petition was a significant factor in the ultimate legislative compromise.

“We view HB 1010xx as a reasonable start. However, any effort in this or a future legislature to reintroduce a reduced GPT will be met with a new initiative petition, or perhaps a veto referendum, to protect funds for public education and other state services priorities,” he said.

The petition leader also said confusion and potential legal conflicts between the detailed allocation of funds in the proposed constitutional amendment and the appropriation of various tax changes contained in the legislative measures enacted last month was another concern.

Thompson added the language in State Question 795 would not have permitted schools to use those additional revenues for operational needs. “Our petition set strict parameters for how the new revenues would be allocated, 80% of it for teacher pay. We were asking voters to pass a teacher pay raise, not additional funds for classrooms,” he said. “And we couldn’t amend an initiative petition at this stage.”

He said the various organizations and individuals who pledged funds for SQ 795 believe their resources should be directed to opposing a possible veto referendum on the education funding package. “We will be at the forefront of any effort to defeat a move to renege on the school/teacher funding package,” he added.


This additional statement provided by Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr., a Tulsa independent oilman and chair of the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance (OEPA), the initial organizational member of the Restore Oklahoma Now coalition:

“The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance has been a driving force behind the initiative petition to restore the GPT to 7% for all oil and gas production to pay our teachers. While we still think the 7% rate for all production is fair and competitive with other states, we understand that government works best through the legislative process.

“A functioning legislature requires compromise. The compromise established in HB 1010xx is a victory in the quest for moving Oklahoma’s teacher pay toward regional competitiveness, toward helping our beginning teachers make a living wage.

“In that spirit, the OEPA challenges the state’s other oil and gas organizations to join us in strong opposition to any effort, including the rumored veto referendum, to undermine the work of our legislature to begin to address our public education and teacher pay crisis.

“Yes, there is much more to be done, not only in restoring funds to public education, but in many other areas of state government, such as corrections, health services, child services, higher education and transportation.

“OEPA members come from virtually every community in Oklahoma. We are committed to working with the legislature and all stakeholders to find answers to these issues.  We believe our industry must lead. As Oklahoma-based energy producers, we will continue to stand up for our state.”


Money for education: Senate sends historic revenue bill to governor

Oklahoma Senate passed House Bill 1010XX last night. It restores GPT to 5% for all new wells and will raise enough revenue to give our teachers a $6,000 per year raise! We are proud to be the only oil and gas association to have supported a bill that will give our Oklahoma teachers a living wage!

Read about it here

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oil, Gas Tax Initiative

Supreme Court rules unanimously In favor of SQ 795.

OEPA has spearheaded and supports this intuitive petition to pay our teachers and bring tax fairness to all producers at 7%, which is lower than any other oil and gas producing state.

Read the article here 


Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance Installs Dewey Bartlett Jr. as Chair

OEPA renews call for 7% GPT, Vertical Well Protections  TULSA, Okla. – The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance (OEPA) elected Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. as chairman at its January board meeting. Bartlett, owner of Keener Oil Company, is a small independent producer with operations mostly in eastern Oklahoma. Bartlett, the former mayor of Tulsa, is a […]