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Testifying as an Expert Geological Witness Before the Various Gulf Coast Oil and Gas Administrative Agencies

PRITCHARD, WILLIAM E., III, Lyons, Pipes, and Cook, Mobile, AL

Oftentimes geologists with little or no exposure to presenting geological evidence before an oil and gas administrative agency are placed before the Board to testify as to matters of great significance to the development and ultimate ownership of a field. A geological witness must be adequately prepared and submit technically correct exhibits carefully drafted to comply to the specific language of a particular oil and gas regulation. A canvass of the six state oil and gas administrative agencies in the Gulf Coast shows that each of the agencies has adopted its own set of rules and regulations governing, among other things, the permitting and spacing of wells and the establishment of drilling and production units based primarily on anticipated drainage area. Force-pooling and risk comp nsation penalties designed to combat recalcitrant landowners of their lessees are available in some of the gulf states. In order to increase the odds for gaining a favorable ruling from any oil and gas administrative agency, certain preparation techniques should be used by the geological expert. Credibility is the ultimate goal.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91006 © 1991 GCAGS and GC-SEPM Meeting, Houston, Texas, October 16-18, 1991 (2009)