Oil & Gas Conference brings energy industry expertise to Panhandle-area stakeholders

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, landowners and oil and gas mineral and surface owners will have the unique opportunity to learn more about managing their assets in a rapidly changing environment, from some of the industry’s leading experts in their fields.

The first Western Anadarko Basin Oil and Gas Conference, presented by Texas A&M Agrilife, will provide a platform for a convergence of ideas and interests, with one goal in common: education.

The focus will be on the short- and long-term energy market, current oil and gas production, technology, legal agreements, leases, and industry updates. The daylong event will also feature a trade show, interludes for questions and answers, and plenty of opportunities for networking.

Inspired by the success of AgriLife’s beef cattle conferences here in Canadian, Hemphill County Judge George Briant planted the seed of an idea that led to this first oil and gas conference, and has also been instrumental in planning it.

“I think what we’re trying to do is bring information to mineral- and land-owners that will allow them to do a better job of negotiating contracts…to think about how it will impact them 10 to 20 years down the road, and have a better understanding of what they’re getting into,” he said.

“Hopefully,” Briant added, “ they will also have a better idea of what the oil and gas industry needs, and why they do the things they do. It is a two-way street.”

Conference committee member Bryce Ward said he hopes the conference will allow players from every point in the oil and gas spectrum to meet somewhere in the middle and learn from each other.

Ward is the owner of Forward Land LLC, a land-brokerage firm with offices in both Oklahoma City and Canadian. As a mineral owner, who also works in the oil and gas industry, he is familiar with both sides of the fence.

“That is my main reason for wanting to do this,” he said. “The more educated all of us are, the better—mineral owners or industry folks, like myself.”

Among the event’s presenters is Henry Hood, who will talk about the differences between Texas unitization and Oklahoma pooling laws. It is an evolving field, Ward said: “Henry is literally on the front edge of a lot of it, because he’s the one pushing it for companies, or at least consulting on what they’re doing and why.”

“We are probably going to get a pretty good perspective on where things are headed from the horses’ mouth,” he said, “or at least, from someone that darn sure knows what’s going on.”

With advances in technology, the industry is changing so fast right now, Ward said, that any education you can get is valuable—“especially with someone like Henry, who knows what’s going on and has a good feel for what the barometer is and where it might be headed.”

A presentation on long laterals and divisions orders, by Unit Petroleum’s Frank Young and Ward’s associate, Donna King, of Forward Land, will explore some of the implications of changing technology.

On the other end of that spectrum, generational changes in ownership of land and minerals have increased the need for more information. “With every generation, it just gets much more complicated,” Ward said. “This conference will keep them better informed on things like deductions and how a pipeline works.”

A presentation by DCP representative Todd Tanory, on the inner workings of pipeline systems, promises to help demystify that topic.

Another presentation by Amarillo attorneys Joe Lovell and Brian Farabough, on landowner best practices and the importance of the written agreement, will help surface- and mineral-owners better protect those interests and resources when negotiating leases—or renegotiating old ones, as changes occur and the lease needs be amended.

“I think most people deal with mineral ownership as a passive income,” Ward said. “They feel like there’s nothing they can really do once the well is drilled and the lease is signed. It’s just not true.”

“It may be a very old lease,” he added, “but they come and need something from you. There’s going to be some give and take.”

Suppose, for instance, that your lease doesn’t allow for other lands to be pooled with it. “That wasn’t contemplated at the time,” he said, “because they were going to drill a vertical well and that was it. But now, they want to drill a horizontal well…not only through you and the rest of the owners in the section, but the section to the south of it as well.”

Those leases are living documents, Ward said: “The more you can know on the front end of signing them, the better. The more educated you can be, the better decisions you can make, even though granddad signed the lease 40 years ago.”

The conference’s final speaker is ExxonMobil’s global technology business analysis manager, Ernie Davis, who will address the energy-market outlook. Davis will offer his expert analysis of the present energy value of oil and gas, both in terms of today’s market, and where he sees that market heading, as far into the future as 2040.

“This is the first-of-its-kind program in this region, put together by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,” said Andy Holloway, who is AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Hemphill County, and one of the event’s organizers.

There are over 4,800 mineral owners in Hemphill County alone, Holloway pointed out. “Some mineral owners may have little understanding of what those minerals mean—their value, how to lease them. So we’re bringing executives; we’re bringing legal people, leaders in the oil and gas industry that can speak to these issues.”

“This pilot project reflects the educational desire of AgriLife Extension to extend knowledge, factual information, and research-based education to mineral- and land-owners in the Texas Panhandle,” Holloway said.

Hemphill County was selected to host the event since the county has produced trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and millions of barrels of condensate and oil over the last 50 years from the Western Anadarko Basin, Holloway said.

Other Texas counties within this basin are Wheeler, Roberts, Lipscomb, and Ochiltree. Mineral owners from Oklahoma’s adjoining counties of Roger Mills and Ellis have also been invited, as have representatives of oil and gas companies and service companies, and members of the general public, who are interested in learning more about one of this area’s main economic drivers.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Western Anadarko Basin Oil & Gas Conference will be held Oct. 2 in the Jones Pavilion, located at 1101 N. 6th St. in Canadian.


Registration in advance of the conference is $100 per person, and $125 at the door. All credit and debit cards are accepted. Attendees should register either on the website or by calling the Agri-Life Extension office in Hemphill County at 806.323.9114.


Booths for exhibitors are available for any businesses that want to market their services or products to new customers. Various sponsorship opportunities—for speakers, meals and the happy hour—are still available. Inquiries are welcome. For more information, please contact the AgriLife Extension office in Hemphill County at 806.323.9114.


Texas A&M AgriLife Western Anadarko Basin Oil & Gas Conference

O&G Conference agenda


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