Vol. 6, Issue No. 2



In the first few months of 2023, Washington, D.C. came to the Permian Basin through two House Committee hearings held at the Bush Convention Center and the UTPB Engineering building. For the purpose of continued advocacy on many of the issues discussed at those hearings, and a few others of importance to our membership, the PBPA leadership has also now taken a trip to our nation’s capital. Along with that trip up north, since our last newsletter the New Mexico Legislature has also wrapped its work for 2023, PBPA held our annual Golf Tournament, we have progress to report regarding our legal action against the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and we have continued working tirelessly in Austin during the Texas Legislative session to protect your rights to operate in the most prolific energy-producing region in the world.


In this issue of The Standard, we provide you with updates on our recent advocacy activities along with other important information on upcoming PBPA events and important non-PBPA events in our region:

PBPA In Action & Important Updates

  • 2023 Spring Swing Golf Tournament Recap
  • New Mexico 56th Legislative Session Wrap-Up
  • Texas Legislative Report
  • PBPA Executive Staff Visits D.C.
  • PBPA Files Suit Over the Lesser-Prarie Chicken Species Rule
  • PBPA Comments on the Proposed Revision to Regulations Concerning the Issuance of Enhancement of Survival and Incidental Take Permits under the ESA
  • Membership Survey
  • HSE Benchmarking Survey
  • Permian Basin Oil & Gas Compensation Survey

Upcoming PBPA Events

  • Sporting Clay Shoot & Oil Patch Pit King Challenge
  • Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar
  • Committee Meetings

Community Events

  • Midland College PPDC Training Courses
  • Energy Reception with Dr. Michael Burgess
  • Permian Road Safety Coalition Luncheon
  • MOTRAN Luncheon


Ben Shepperd

Spring Swing Golf Tournament

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Odessa Country Club for the 2023 Spring Swing Tournament! We hope you enjoyed a day on the course and that relationships were developed or strengthened.

Special thanks to all event sponsors, cookers, and volunteers who made the event possible. For official event photos, visit the PBPA website or our Facebook Page.


State Updates

New Mexico 56th Legislative Session Wrap-Up

New Mexico’s 56th Legislature concluded on March 18th and PBPA staff spent a great deal of time in Santa Fe advocating for industry. As predicted the House of Representatives elected Javier Martinez as Speaker of the House and the Senate retained the same leadership as in the 55th legislature.

As anticipated, several bills were introduced that impacted the industry, most in a detrimental way. As the session progressed, we were tracking just over 50 bills, most in the House.

Here is a list of high-priority bills that were tracked and testified on:

  • HB 91 – Natural Resources Trustee Changes – died in first House Energy
  • HB 121 – Water Right Lease Effective Date – died on the House Floor
  • HB 242 – Private Right of Action – died in House Energy
  • HB 276 – Oil & Gas Permit Applications – died in House Energy
  • HB 489 – State Engineer Qualification – died in House Ag & Water
  • SB 11 - Paid Family and Medical Leave Act – died in House Commerce
  • SB 164 – Future Oil & Gas Lease Royalty Rates – died on Senate Floor
  • SB 418 – Oil & Gas Act Changes – died in Senate Judiciary
  • SB 520 – Clean Future Act – died in Senate Conservation

All in all, only four bills made it out of their first committee assignment, and of those that did pass out, none of them made it out of their originating chamber. PBPA also tracked several tax bills that were eventually rolled into one omnibus tax package. This bill made it to the Governor’s desk and on the last day of the signing period she line-item-vetoed almost the entire bill, leaving only the tax rebates, the film tax credits, and a small Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) deduction for certain medical costs.

It was a fast and furious session with good results that PBPA didn't anticipate. Much of the success was due to great coordination between all three trades (PBPA, IPANM, and NMOGA) and building coalitions with other industries (ag and water) and the business community, in particular the New Mexico Chamber.

Interim legislative committees will be appointed in the coming weeks and will begin to meet in June. We will follow these committees and keep you informed of coming issues

If you are interested either in helping out or in finding out more information about our New Mexico Legislative efforts, please reach out to Stephen Robertson (stephen@pbpa.info).

Texas 88th Legislative Session Report

The 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature is over halfway completed and will conclude on May 29th. PBPA has weighed in on issues in nearly a dozen committees including House Energy and Environmental Regulation, Senate Business and Commerce, and Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee.

Points of interest in this Session include:

  • HB 1, General Appropriations Act - PBPA seeks to ensure there is adequate funding for agencies that regulate and process permits for the oil and gas industry including, the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In addition, PBPA is supporting additional funding for seismic research at the Bureau of Economic Geology which oversees the TexNet seismic monitoring system.
  • SB 2012 - PBPA has supported efforts to ensure that the “performance credit mechanism” proposed by the Public Utilities Commission, has appropriate parameters to guarantee that the program does not simply create costs for electricity customers without adding new, reliable, thermal electric generation.
  • SB 6 + SB 7 - Senate proposals to fund new electrical generation and ensure that the market does not continue to distort itself by preferring renewable energy over reliable thermal energy.
  • HB 2848 + HB 5066 - Many PBPA members are negatively affected by transmission congestion and these House Bills seek to provide benefits to the process of transmission planning.
  • HB 3244 - PBPA has supported House Bill 3244 for the proposed reform of SB 3 that was passed last session. It seeks to reduce the redundancy of reports, allow operators to serve as a load resource, and allows operators a process to engage with the RRC to better share information that can be used to determine whether or not a facility should be mapped.
  • Ben Shepperd, PBPA President testified in support of Speaker Tom Craddick’s GROW bill (HJR 27) which was passed out of House Appropriations. Additionally, PBPA supported Chairman Brooks Landgraf’s STRONG bill (HJR 111).

With just a little over 30 days to go, PBPA continues to monitor the wide variety of issues being discussed in this session and will do so until its conclusion. We greatly appreciate your input and we encourage you to participate in our weekly meetings or please reach out to PBPA staff for answers to any questions you may have.

For more information on Committee Assignments, filed legislation, or other Texas Legislative efforts, please reach out to Michael Lozano (michael@pbpa.info).

Federal Updates

PBPA Executive Team Visits D.C.

Pictured in the first photo📸: Jimmy Carlile (Fasken Oil & Ranch + PBPA Regulatory Practices Committee Co-Chair), Ben Shepperd (PBPA President), Stephen Robertson (PBPA Exec. VP), Tommy Taylor (Fasken Oil & Ranch + PBPA Board Chair)

In March, PBPA was represented by Chairman Tommy Taylor, President Ben Shepperd, Executive VP Stephen Robertson, and PBPA RPC Co-Chair Jimmy Carlile on PBPA’s first trip to Washington, DC in over two years. 

While on Capitol Hill, the team met with a diverse group of lawmakers from both chambers and both sides of the aisle, important committee staff in each chamber, and with agency officials, including the Interior Department’s Deputy Secretary Boudreau and senior Fish and Wildlife Service officials. In the Department of Interior meetings, they raised concerns about the Service’s proposed Section 10 regulatory changes, including the agency’s plans to expand its authority under the ESA to regulate state-managed and state-listed species.

While the engagement and face-to-face conversations were incredibly impactful in themselves, the trip has also led to a number of opportunities for PBPA to provide comment and support for several proposals that would benefit our industry. These have included a Congressional Review Act proposal (H.J. Res. 29) which would delist the lesser prairie chicken, the Lower Energy Costs Act, and the Limit, Save, Grow Act, both of which include repeals of the Methane Tax. We have also worked to help organize witnesses to provide committee testimony and submitted official letters of support where and when appropriate.

PBPA continues to work not just at the local and state levels, but at the Federal level as well to protect your right to operate.

PBPA Files Suit Over the Lesser-Prarie Chicken Species Rule

PBPA’s lawsuit against the Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the listing of the lesser prairie chicken was officially filed on March 21, 2023, in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Joining PBPA in this suit, so far, have been the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Kansas Livestock Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association, the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association and the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma. Since the filing of the suit, PBPA has also been in discussion with numerous other possible partners looking to join and support our efforts. In conjunction with our suit, the states of Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma have filed an action against the federal government for the listing decision. This complaint has also been filed in the Western District of Texas. While PBPA was joined by some incredible partners in our 2014 suit regarding the previous listing of the lesser prairie chicken, as you can see, this go-around the coalition of support has grown tremendously.

At this point in time, on top of continuing to organize additional support for our efforts, PBPA is waiting for a response from the government regarding our filed complaint. Once the response has been filed with the court, our Species Habitat and Operations Committee, along with our Legal Committee, will continue to work with our hired counsel to successfully achieve a revocation of the listing decision. While we wait, however, we are leaving no stone unturned and are also supporting efforts at the congressional level to pass a Congressional Review Act proposal to vacate the listing decision.

If you are interested in learning more about these efforts please reach out to Stephen Robertson at stephen@pbpa.info.

Comments on the Proposed Revision to Regulations Concerning the Issuance of Enhancement of Survival and Incidental Take Permits under the ESA

On April 10, 2023, PBPA submitted comments, along with multiple other trades, on behalf of our members regarding proposed ESA Section 10 related regulations. The changes would fundamentally expand the agency’s authority to propose -- or accept an applicant’s petition to – limit access to private or state-managed land that might, maybe, someday, be designated as critical habitat for an as yet federally listed species.

Under the proposed rule, the Fish & Wildlife Service would have complete discretion to determine whether to accept a petition—or not. No publicly available criteria were developed or have been discussed as being considered in making these determinations. So, no accountability. How the Service ultimately finalizes the rule, given the unprecedented boost in the agency’s power the changes represent will be tracked by PBPA and we will closely coordinate with our congressional allies and state and industry partners on the next steps.

All official comments submitted by the PBPA can now be found conveniently on our website.

Member Surveys

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association strives to serve its members effectively and provide relevant member benefits. This can be done increasingly better by receiving member feedback.


If you haven't already, please complete this short, 10-question survey to help us provide the most value for your membership.

Each person who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for PBPA gift items! Three winners will be selected.


The survey will close on May 30th at 5 PM. If you have any questions, please contact our staff.

Take the Survey

The PBPA Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) Committee is ready to conduct our sixth HSE benchmarking survey to allow PBPA member companies to compare their safety incident, spill performance, and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) statistics to blinded data obtained from peer-companies. 


If your company elects to participate in the survey, please contact Stephen at stephen@pbpa.info for additional details. The survey deadline is close of business on Friday, May 5

Please note that if you do not participate, you will not have access to the information submitted by other companies. Benchmarking data will only be reported/distributed to PBPA member companies that participate in the survey. All data obtained during this study will be held confidential and blinded by PBPA staff so that company names cannot be identified by any other participant.

Thank you for your participation in this effort to continually improve our HSE performance in the Permian Basin.

Download the Survey

2023 Permian Basin Oil & Gas Compensation Survey

Whitney Smith Company is conducting the 7th annual Permian Basin Oil and Gas Compensation Survey. The survey is sponsored by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association in order to bring an industry compensation survey to its members, as well as to nonmembers, who have E & P operations or a decent sampling of the surveyed job positions in the Permian Basin area.

PBPA members receive discounted rates for the survey whether your company participates or only desires the results!

Participating is important for organizations in analyzing pay levels against current market practices. The survey provides comprehensive data for budgeting, setting, and administering competitive pay levels and updating compensation structures. 

The 2023 survey will report annual base salary/hourly rates, annual bonus data, long-term incentives, and total annual compensation for approximately 90 positions. All data will be held in the strictest confidence.

Learn More
Download Survey Flyer

Upcoming PBPA Events

Save the date for PBPA'a annual Sporting Clay Shoot & Oil Patch Pit King Challenge! The Clay Shoot will take place on August 11th at Jake's Clays in Midland, TX.

Stayed tuned for sponsorship and registration information for this fantastic event. For additional information, visit the PBPA website.

More Details

Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar

Thursday, May 11th

Bush Convention Center

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Join Midland College's PPDC and the PBPA for a day-long seminar that will help you keep current on recent environmental regulations and policy changes.


For more information on these events, please contact Jamie Ramirez at jamie@pbpa.info or (432) 684-6345.

Committee Meetings

  • Weekly Texas Legislative Committee Meetings: Apr. 25 - May 23
  • Regulatory Practices Committee Meeting May 16, 2023

For more information on these or any of our other committees, please contact Stephen Robertson at stephen@pbpa.info or (432) 684-6345.

Community Events

Energy Reception with Dr. Michael Burgess

While PBPA does not engage in political activity, we always want to make sure our members are aware of opportunities to get to know candidates or elected officials who could make decisions that impact operations in the Permian Basin. This is not an endorsement of any candidate or party.


PPDC Programs

MC PPDC provides quality training programs designed to keep oil and gas industry professionals current in their areas of expertise by offering the latest industry updates, as well as providing timely and pertinent educational opportunities. Click the link below for upcoming classes being offered by the MC PPDC in the coming months.

All classes are held in person at the PPDC unless designated “online” in the course description.

Customized Training Available! For more information contact Midland College PPDC at (432) 683-2832 or cepetroleumtraining@midland.edu

Training Guide

Permian Road Safety Coalition Luncheon

The PRSC announced the first two speakers for its May 16 Road Safety Luncheon Series-Carlsbad, presented by SIMCO. Michael Smelker, Assistant District Engineer for the New Mexico Department of Transporation, District 2, will update attendees about ongoing and upcoming road infrastructure improvements across Southeast New Mexico. Understanding road construction schedules is a very important topic for PRSC-supporting companies. Tony Garcia, DOT Compliance Manager for ProPetro Services, Inc. will deliver an important and timely presentation, "Enhancing Driver Qualifications." He will cover CDL issues, pre-employment screening, and the importance of daily driver monitoring among other topics.

The Road Safety Luncheon is a free event. Donations are accepted online to offset lunch costs and other expenses associated with a high-quality event.

Prior to the luncheon, a mock commercial vehicle inspection will be conducted by the New Mexico State Police Commercial Inspection Division. Observers are welcome and all are encouraged to watch law enforcement point out common issues they identify among commercial fleets.


MOTRAN Luncheon

Join MOTRAN on Friday, April 28th at 11:30 am at the Bush Convention Center (105 N Main, Midland, Texas), MOTRAN will be hosting a luncheon on the importance of pipelines to our area, pipeline safety and security, and what the future of pipeline development looks like in the Permian Basin.

Our special guest will be Nick Medina, VP for ExxonMobil Pipeline Company speaking about the importance of pipelines for the Permian and what future pipeline development will look like across the state.

Lunch will be provided and there is no cost to attend but we do ask for the favor of your RSVP to help us have a good headcount.

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