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Well after well averaged a potential of 15,000 barrels a day and every operator wanted to operate at full blast. A total of some 1,100 wells were drilled there in the first half of 1931, and 3,396 wells were drilled during the whole year. By October of that year, a well an hour was being completed, and approximately one million barrels a day were being produced in the East Texas field about one-third of the oil required for the entire country’s needs. As a result, the price of oil dropped from three dollars a barrel to ten cents a barrel. That was when the national guard moved in, on the theory that riots would occur when the order was given to cut back production. One big operator said that so far as he was concerned, Gen. Jacob Wolters, head of the national guard, was nothing but “a deputy sheriff.” Today, the allowable in all Texas, fixed by the Railroad Commission, is 191,000 barrels. The East Texas field is 43 miles long and nine miles wide at its widest, about four miles wide at its narrowest. Inside the area are about 19,100 wells. The size of the field is shrinking. Areas on the edges that used to be oil areas are now dry. People who own this land have only one direction to look for oil under someone else’s lease. That is where the directional drilling comes in. Directional drilling is an old technique, at least 20 years old, and it is often used for legitimate purposes, such as offshore drilling. But in recent years, it has been brought to perfection as used with increasing popularity as a tool of piracy. AMONG people in the industry, there had been sidewalk gossip for some years about the practice, but the massive skulduggery really came into the open when at 5:30 a.m. on April 27 of this year, E. E. Barnes, district supervisor for Shell, was awakened by one of his field foremen and told that “upon opening the valve from the annulus [the outer casing] the well started flowing rotary mud … coming in surges exactly like strokes of a reciprocating pump and blew out approximately 30 feet from the well at the top of each surge.” It was discovered that one oil operator, drilling a well on another lease at a point 3,060 feet from the Shell well, had so slanted his drill that it cut the outer casing of the well being drilled by Shell. Rotary mud is pumped down into a well to cool the drill when a well is being drilled. When Barber’s drill broke the Shell company casing, his rotary mud went into the casing and out the top of the well, giving him away. Fred Young, general counsel for the Railroad Commission, told the Observer that -Humble Oil Company has since reported that one of its casings was penetrated in the same fashion, about a year ago, but they did not report it at the time. Checking into this particular violation, the Railroad Commission uncovered data that indicated the driller in qUestion was exceptional only in that he was caught. The investigation was launched. The first 31 operators the commission asked for permission to run directional surveys on their wells refused to give permission. The commission ordered the pipelines from those wells closed meaning the operator had no market. That forced the 31 operators to cooperate. The next move on the part of the operators to placate the commission was to send their attorneys to Austin’with the offer to plug 20 wells, and no argument if no questions were asked. The commission refused. One company, panicking, went in just ahead of the investigators and filled their wells with cement. “Up to that point,” says Wilson, “they were good producing wells.” After that, Wilson got a court order forbidding any more plugging anywhere. At the same time he sued the Edwin G. Stanley Co. for $3,422,000. At this point in the investigation, the commission has sent out letters to 60 operators holding 162 leases with any number of wells per lease asking for permission to. run surveys. Of the first eight surveys run so far this week and last, seven have proved to be crooked, with the well bottoming out under somebody else’s lease. The eighth well could not be surveyed because the operators had jimmied up the casing to prevent it. Life in Lufkin . By Bob Sherrill Nov. 3, 1961 Lufkin One of the political leaders of the Negro people in Lufkin, heart of the piney woods region, is Inez Tims, 52, a common laborer at the Lufkin Foundry and Machine plant. He is cheerful, outspoken, and, compared to other Negroes interviewed on this swing, politely aggressive in outlook. He said there had been no move in Lufkin toward integration in the schools, but “we’re getting stronger politically,” with between 500 and 600 Lufkin Negroes in the Voters League and , a drive on to raise the membership to 800. “We usually go along with the state Voters League. On the local level, We have a screening committee for candidates. But I don’t know, these , things backfire.” Do the Negroes of Lufkin really want integration? “Well, yes, they do. You see, we have some fine buildings here, fine school buildings. But there are so many inadequacies. We have no junior high. It’s a pretty sloppy set-up. We have some good buildings, but it’s like having a new chassis and no motor.” Bob Burus We asked him why several of the Negro school executives sounded so unenthusiastic about the idea of school integration. Inez chuckled, “For a Negro principal to tell a strange white man he wanted integration would just be like telling the school board, ‘I’m tired of this job.’ If you want to know how a Negro feels, send a Negro to talk to him. ‘And of course they are influenced by the fact they would lose their jobs. And they may be right. Some of the Negro youngsters may be hurt at first in the integration of classes. You don’t get something for nothing. You can never make anything out of people but people. Of course kids fight, whether white or colored, but it wouldn’t last. We could get along. “Some of the white folks say Northern people are stirring up the trouble. That reminds me of a joke you may not have heard. Negroes around here tell it. Uncle Mose was an old Mississippi Negro who lived on a white man’s farm. Every once in a while December 27, 1974 53