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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Tulsa Geological Society


Tulsa Geological Society Digest
Vol. 29 (1961), Pages 106-107

Tips and Advice on How a Geologist Should Testify Before the Corporation Commission: Abstract

W. E. Robertson1


The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has the power to establish well spacing and drilling units covering any common source of supply. Several court cases were cited to point out this fact. Vertical communication was also commented on. Some, for example, want the Layton divided into the Upper, Middle, and Lower reservoirs whereas others wish it to be considered as a common source of supply. Comparable pressures, comparable gravity, comparable characteristics of liquid hydrocarbons involved, and comparable chemical composition of the gases all point to common accumulation.

The following suggestions were proposed to geologists testifying before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission:

1. The geologist is testifying as a scientist and expert. Use as big words as are necessary to put your point across satisfactorily. It is up to the court to find out what you are talking about.

2. Do not worry about being fair. All hearings are partisan affairs and all witnesses, including geologists, are partisans. Put your best foot forward and stick by any contouring you present. It is based on your best judgment.

3. All exhibits as maps, charts, and graphs should be prepared with care and with the professional touch.

4. Three-dimensional presentations are more effective than those limited to two. Contoured isopach colored up like a layer cake are extremely effective. So are peg-board model oil fields, in the event the stakes are large enough to warrant the necessary expenditure of time and money.

5. Citations of textbooks and articles in recognized periodicals as U. S. G. S. Bulletins, will add great weight to the cause. Judges, commissioners, and the public are greatly impressed by the written word, particularly if it is written by a college professor or a man with a lot of credits after his name, who should know what he is talking about.

6. Lastly, there is no real substitute for thorough preparation and study of the problem involved.


Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes

1 Attorney, Robinson, Shipp, Robertson & Barnes

Copyright © 2006 by the Tulsa Geological Society