Rick Roberts Story

This video is a bit hard to hear at times because of the wind but it’s important to us to go to the small vertical producers out there and get their voice heard so that everyone knows what is really happening.

Rick Roberts is no “fat cat”. He and his partner Rhonda have operated wells for other people for many years. Rick works in the field. Rhonda handles the office work.They were finally able to buy a few wells of their own . Now they have lost two of those wells and are counting on losing more. Right now they just want to get to the end of the year.


Pressure vs Time Graph by Steve Altman

Guest post today is from Steve Altman. Steve is a Petroleum Engineer and is President of Brown and Borelli Oil and Gas.

This is pretty technical, but it shows credibility for any oil and gas entity.

Pressure vs Time


Vieth Unit 1-32, NW SW Section 32 T18N R6W) got hit by an offset Mississippi frac (OEA Farrar 1806 1-32MH, API# 073-25561; estimate 1980’ between vertical and horizontal wellbores).  Looks like it may have been hit by two stages (See attached pressure chart).  Definite bleed off of pressure after the frac.

Fluid level dropped in the well.

We will start pumping to check for water increase and production decrease.

One section to the west, two wells hit last month that we have previously discussed:

The F. L. Towne 31-1 is still making significant water (56 BWPD) with no oil and decreasing gas (down to 4 MCF/D) (It was making 4 BO, 3 BW, 23 MCFG/D).  It was hit hard.

The Towne 31-2 has seen an increase in oil (3.5 to 5 BOPD) but a larger increase in water (8 BWPD to 21 BWPD) and a decrease in gas (57 MCF/D to 39 MCF/D).





David E Morgan Watered Vertical Wells

Rick Roberts is an oilfield professional in Waukoma who runs the operations for several companies. As hundreds of wells are destroyed and replaced with a smaller number of horizontal wells it costs all the jobs needed to care for those wells as well as the royalty owners in them.

David E Morgan Inc Vertical Wells (Excel spreadsheet link)

API # Vertical Well Name QTR SEC TWP RGE County Horizontal Well Name API # Horizontal Legal Description Drilling Company
073-22723 Bollenbach #1 NE 27 17 5 Kingfisher Gant #1-27H NE SEC 27-17-5 Ward Pet.
073-22397 Carrie #1 SW 17 18 5 Kingfisher Nelson  1805 4-18MH SW SEC 18-18-5 OEA
073-22127 Clifford king #1 SE 23 16 6 Kingfisher King Koopa 1606 #1UMH-22 SE SEC 22-16-6 Chaparrel
047-23999 Eldon #1 NW 11 20 5 Garfield Riesen #11-M1H SE SEC 10-20-5 Longfellow
047-23876 Gilbert #5 NE 4 20 5 Garfield Riesen #15-M4H SE SEC 10-20-5 Longfellow
047-23503 Hladik #1 SE 36 20 6 Garfield Kokojan #36-M4H NE Sec 36-20-6 Longfellow
047-23572 Hollar #1 SE 35 21 5 Garfield Eddie Mack #35-M3H SW Sec 35-21-5 Longfellow
047-23975 Homer #1 NE 29 20 5 Garfield Peach #29-M4H NE Sec 32-20-5 Longfellow
047-24053 Johnson #1 SE 2 20 5 Garfield Eddie Mack #2-M3H SW Sec 35-21-5 Longfellow
073-23925 Josephine #1 SE 36 20 6 Garfield Kokojan #36-M4H NE Sec 36-20-6 Longfellow
073-22853 Julia #1 NE 15 17 5 Kingfisher Gant #1-22H NW Sec 27-17-5 Ward Petroleum
073-22939 Lankard #1 SW 5 16 5 Kingfisher Townsend #6-1H NE Sec 7-16-5 Gastar
047-23865 Low #10 SE 5 20 5 Garfield J & J #5-MiH NE Sec 7-20-5 Longfellow
047-24026 Nettie #1 SW 11 20 5 Garfield Riesen #11-M1H SE SEC 10-20-5 Longfellow
073-23113 Pacula #1 SW 31 20 5 Kingfisher Kokojan #31-M1H NE Sec 36-20-6 Longfellow
047-22424 Parkhurst #1 NE 35 20 5 Garfield Francis #36-M1H NW Sec 36-20-5 Longfellow
047-23859 Reta Belle #6 NW 15 20 5 Garfield Hamm #10-M1H SE Sec 4-20-5 Longfellow
073-23450 Thelma #1 SW 23 17 5 Kingfisher Gant #1-27H NE SEC 27-17-5 Ward Petroleum
073-22404 Vadder #1 SW 23 18 5 Kingfisher Vadder #18-5-23 1H SW Sec 23-18-5 Staghorn Petroleum
047-22729 Van Hauen #1 SE 26 20 5 Garfield Francis #26-M4H NW Sec 36-20-5 Longfellow
047-23888 Walters #1 NW 16 20 5 Garfield Edwards #16-M1H SW Sec 16-20-5 Longfellow
073-22806 Wanda #1 SW 35 20 7 Kingfisher Huntsburg #1-3H


Rick Roberts is with David E Morgan Inc & Three Sands Investment Co.

Unacceptable Consequences of Vertical Well Destruction

Guest post by Goetz Schuppan, Singer Oil Co., LLC

This shows the anatomy of losing a well; emphasizing that the operator is not a willing seller but is forced to sell for what the state says its worth Through the Corporation Commission forced pooling. This lowers values for everyone by multiple of as much as ten times.  Oklahoma is the only state that allows the state to set prices. In All other states the parties negotiate for property. Isn’t that a novel concept?

 Well Valuation (Excel spreadsheet)

If you look at the spreadsheet, a 30MCF/2bbl oil well has a valuation of $980,000.  I would never pay that for a well but that is the profit that such a well is forecast to generate over the next 20 years.

After our wells get fracked into, settlement discussions often break down because we cannot come to an agreement on valuation.  I think the most important point to consider is that we are not WILLING sellers of our wells and that traditional valuation models do not apply.  I don’t agree to being FORCED into selling a well for a 5 year payout at today’s prices. Below are our assumptions:

  • In a transaction between willing parties, there has to be room for the buyer to make a healthy profit over the remaining lifecycle of the well. We are not a willing seller. Traditional valuation models with 5 or 7 year paybacks don’t apply. Many of our wells have been around for 40 years and it is reasonable to expect another 20 years of production.  We compare profits from our wells to annuities.
    • Note: Mechanical integrity is a risk over that time period. We think it is offset by the potential for increased value due to new technology or changing environments. E.g.:
      • Refracking of old zones using coiled tubing.
      • Exponential increase in acreage value over the last 5 years
  • We use a discount rate of 5% which is the interest rate we pay to our bank for loans.  We don’t see a reason to use PV9 or PV12.
  • We use oil and gas price forecasts from the US Energy Information Administration published in the “Annual Energy Outlook”. A lot more analysis goes into creating this forecast then what goes into the price deck from the local bank that is used to protect the bank’s loan values.
  • Most of our wells are many years old and have a fairly flat decline curve.
  • Our overhead and operating expenses are a fraction of the costs of bigger companies. We are able to operate profitably year after year because we keep costs to a minimum.
    • Our operating costs are kept low by being geographically concentrated.
    • We don’t have layers of management
    • We do a lot of the repair and maintenance work ourselves, with older equipment that we own.
  • We take the long view:
    • We don’t have to answer to boards or financial investors.
    • We don’t have to meet acquisition or divestiture targets.
      • We don’t buy wells when we think prices are too high
      • We don’t willingly sell wells in a low price environment. We would not willingly sell a well in the current pricing environment

Goetz Schuppan

Singer Oil Co., LLC


Open Letter to OIPA by William F. Dost, Jr.

OIPA Board of Directors RE: Open Letter


Ladies and Gentlemen:


My business, like so many others, cannot single handedly take on the necessary task of protecting the interests of small producers which allows us to continue to work, employ and properly develop oil and gas in Oklahoma. In the early 1980’s I joined OIPA which provided the opportunity for companies like mine to become a unified voice of representation at the Capitol and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. I became very involved with OIPA and sat on committees, gradually chaired committees, was elected as a member of the year and was nominated and appointed to be on the Board of Directors (“BOD”) in the early 1990s; all while running my own operating company. Sadly, over the years I watched as OIPA evolved into a flashy organization that began emphasizing dollar donations over the ability, to lead and diligently produce. Today the leadership positions of the organization are simply bought not earned, resulting in a shift of interests away from the small independent producer to isolating the focus to benefit horizontal production.

The recent pursuit of the long lateral horizontal bill (the ‘bill”) blatantly benefits only a select few producers and is a direct reflection of the concurrent change in leadership within OIPA. This bill would allow all the reserves that I have worked for as a vertical producer to be stolen by horizontal drilling without my consent or proper reimbursement. The OIPA BOD rejected the bill several times for its bias toward horizontal development. The leadership directed by horizontal interests continued to push the bill without making any efforts to compromise with the vertical producers.  The outlook of the bill caused a division of the organization between the horizontal and the vertical companies.  The demands of current chairman to push this bill through have caused more BODs to either resign or were forced out than has ever happened in the history of OIPA. The failure to simply address the prevention of theft for those that earned reserves on vertical wellbores has not only jeopardized but reversed the very fundamental code of fair practice with which OIPA was once founded. The organization has taken a whole new attitude that horizontal interests reign supreme and there is simply little to no concern expressed for the vertical producer. In my recent letter of resignation from the Board, I stated that the organization is no longer the organization I once joined and had dedicated so much of my time and energy over the past 35 years.

The bill fails to address many of the concerns of the majority of the industry.

  • Well bore damage by fracking
  • Theft of reserves from existing vertical wells
  • Loss of up-hole rights in the vertical well bores
  • Damage of fresh water resources from breaking down old well bores from fracking
  • The damage to Banking lending laws by challenging the rights and ownership of reserves by the vertical drillers and their leases. This one act alone affects the majority of all small town banks found in the oil patch. Individuals who own wells need capital for emergency or their day to day lives depend on the banks to lend on those wells and their up-hole reserves. The current bill as it is written will prevent that from ever happening

The science of horizontal drilling has been a plus to our industry. The utilization of this science by companies who can identify new untapped reservoirs and drill and produce those reserves economically, without the issues listed previously makes our industry more efficient and much stronger.  I cannot imagine those individuals who work for the horizontal companies justifying the theft with a clear conscience. Our industry has always used its science and talent to find new reserves for the state and the country. These actions are the reason Oklahoma wrote spacing laws to prevent the issue of  one company taking assets of other companies by drilling under their leasehold.

Please do not tarnish our industry any more than it is by forcing these bills, as written, down the throats of vertical producers and thousands of families in the vertical oil patch that depend on their wells for livelihood. I know it has taken time but address and correct these issues. If that can be done then the entire industry will join you and fight with you.



William F. Dost, Jr. President

WFD Oil Corporation

Possible solutions for vertical well producers

Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance regulatory affairs chairman Tom Dunlap discusses The need for data to help at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission find remedies for the destruction of their 40 vertical wells.




The Vertical Wells Were Here First

Every horizontal and vertical well drilled in Kingfisher County…

All the yellow lines represent horizontal wells drilled right through them and fracked with millions of pounds of sand and millions of barrels of water. No wonder the vertical wells are destroyed! This should never been allowed to happen, at least not without willing sellers or deal makers.

And … horizontal wells with the vertical taken out:


Newfield’s rate of return

Newfield’s rate of return is higher in both the Scoop and the Stack plays(with a 2% tax rate) in Oklahoma than either the Bakken (10% tax rate) or the Eagle Ford (8.5% tax rate) Oklahoma is subsidizing their drilling in other states.



Open Letter to the OIPA membership (Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association)

Dear OIPA,

I think it’s time to explain why after nearly 40 years serving on the OIPA board and holding many positions including the office of President I chose to relinquish my position as a “lifetime” member of the board. I still consider OIPA a fine organization and an excellent networking group. But they have fallen short of advocating for the small producers across the state and have become a horizontal drilling association. Nothing wrong with horizontal technology; it is a game changer. But when it trespasses on the rights of vertical producers and the OIPA board refuses even the slightest measure to give them some protections that for me that is unacceptable.

Most of my time on the board we did our best to represent a broad spectrum of a very diverse industry.

There are differences between oil producers and gas producers.

There are differences between big and small companies and between privately held and public companies.

But for most of the time we got in a room and worked out something that allowed us to speak as one voice; even though sometimes the issue was so compellingly difficult that individual board members went a different path. They were always allowed to do so and without criticism.

In 1992 the board took a position on Natural gas pro-rationing to limit gas production from the biggest wells. The vote was split down the middle. The late Sam Cerny was our President and he disclosed to us all that his company would not let him support our position. Everyone understood. I could name Chairman after Chairman that spoke on behalf of the industry against their own interest.

That tradition of unity with freedom and with honor I held in high esteem.

That tradition along with many others is gone. Of course, change is the only constant in the world and we all have to embrace it one way or the other. However, some change requires a course correction or in pilot terms a 180 – going in the opposite direction.

At the end of the day, the change that required me to resign and work toward having a voice for small producers had very little to do with one issue. It was a cultural change.

The cultural change was many faceted.

There was greatly diminished effort to work out differences in a way that protected all producers. Individual board members, most of whom dedicated decades of service on a non-profit board for the benefit of all, were castigated publicly for disagreeing with leadership.

The tradition of what was required to be selected to be on the board was a back breaking change. Being selected to be on the OIPA board was historically an honor bestowed on individuals of good standing in the industry that had demonstrated a willingness to work, give of their wealth and their wisdom to the good of the entire industry. (Panas’s three Ws of requirements of a board member) That criteria changed to one of one W of the three- wealth. Big companies were given board positions not because an individual had worked for the industry or had acquired any wisdom thru years of hard knocks but because their company gave enough money. At the same time small, politically active and knowledgeable producers were told to “work your way” on to the board thru the many years of serving on committees.

At the end, this was the practice that left the small producers without a voice in OIPA. The big company members of the board are likely very good people. It’s just a different dynamic when a board shifts from a majority of those who run their own companies to those who work for someone else with little or no experience working in the public arena.

The biggest break in tradition for me was the shift in our culture as an organization that always tried to never ask for anything that was not in the best interest of our state. I know that sounds a bit altruistic for a business trade association. But it was the tradition of which I was most proud.

While many will disagree, I believe we broke with that tradition when the association supported and helped a few companies get a 2%permanent tax rate for new wells drilled.

I am embarrassed to watch teachers in my community have to take second and third jobs to make ends meet. The Gross Production Tax has gone from over 1 billion per year to 165 million affecting all our state’s vital services. Don’t get me wrong the position of trying to do what’s best for Oklahoma is not totally one of altruism. It’s also the best way to be a part of the Oklahoma community and has produced good outcomes for us as an industry. There is a reason Oklahoma is the friendliest state in the country to do oil and gas business. That is beginning to change. We are dropping in the public perception of our industry.

OIPA’s soon to be President Tim Wiggly said it best “vertical wells are our history, Horizontal drilling is our future”. That may be so, but that is no justification to disregard the 3000 Vertical producers in the process, which is what OIPA has done.

As traditional producers who run our own companies, live in communities all across Oklahoma, and as members not only of the oil and gas community but the community including our fellow men and women we can restore that voice. The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance was formed to give us that voice. I urge you to join us to make a difference for us and for our state by going to okenergyproducers.org and joining today.




Mike “Bubba” Cantrell

Talk with horizontal frac victim Mitchel Turner

It’s just not right to ever take someone else’s property. The big horizontal Fracking companies just do it because they can; then they say “sue us” knowing that small business men and women cannot afford lawsuits.

Call your state legislator today and tell them to vote no on SB867. Don’t expand horizontal fracking!