Vol. 6, Issue No. 9



It is time to participate in our democracy and exercise your right to vote. Early voting has opened for the November 7th election. We encourage you to head to the polls and help influence legislation and elections in your state or municipality. Follow the respective links to find election information in Texas and New Mexico.

In this version of The Standard, we provide several pertinent updates from New Mexico, Texas, and the Federal level. Our team has been hard at work advocating for the oil and gas industry in the Permian and your input and participation are highly appreciated.

Below you will find an update on Rule 8/Chapter 4 out of Texas and important hearings happening this week, news regarding esteemed Permian Basin community members, and other important information. As always, we also provide details on upcoming PBPA events and other relevant community activities:

Important Updates

  • In Memoriam: Mr. James C. "Jim" Henry
  • Petroleum Museum Leadership Update
  • NM Senator Stuart Ingle to Retire
  • Proposed Revisions to the New Mexico Oil and Gas Act
  • Rule 8/ Chapter 4 Update
  • PBPA's Legal Action regarding the LPC
  • 2024 Membership Renewals
  • 2024 Top Hand Award Banquet
  • Committee Meetings

Community Events

  • Midland College PPDC Training Courses
  • Hart Energy's Executive Oil Conference
  • IPAA Annual Meeting
  • Texas Energy Council Permian Symposium
  • PRSC Luncheon
  • Additional events can be found on the calendar in the Member-Only Center!


Ben Shepperd

PBPA President


We had another great year exhibiting at the Permian Basin International Oil Show! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see us or referred new people to visit with the staff.

The PBIOS is a wonderful gathering of producers, service companies, investors, and innovators, where ideas are exchanged, friendships are made and deals are born. Thank you to the PBIOS team for inviting us and we look forward to the next opportunity to network with the industry.

In Memoriam:

Mr. James C. "Jim" Henry

On October 17, 2023, the venerable Top Hand Jim Henry, a giant in our industry, passed away.


Jim was one of the finest human beings to ever walk the earth. Jim’s generosity is legendary and in a region known for its philanthropy and community involvement, his legacy stands heads above most. 


Jim was passionate about the Permian Basin and fortunately for all of us, one of his passions was the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. He was one of our longest and strongest supporters. He also served as PBPA Chairman and was awarded our Top Hand award.


Jim was a friend and mentor to many as well. 

"I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Jim for mentoring me and spending countless hours explaining his vision for the Permian Basin oil and gas industry and the PBPA," said PBPA President, Ben Shepperd.

Jim wanted the PBPA to be strong like the Permian Basin and put a great deal of his time, talent, and treasure into pursuing those goals. All of that is on top of his professional successes in the industry. The success of the Henry companies rival any of the operators in the history of the Permian Basin. He will be greatly missed. You can read Jim's obituary and view his tribute video here.

Petroleum Museum Leadership Update

On October 1, 2023, Kathy Shannon officially retired from the Petroleum Museum as its Executive Director. She came to the Museum in 1995 as the Director of Education and was chosen to lead the Museum as Executive Director in November 2004. The Museum’s future will be led by the new Executive Director, Bryan Grant.

Kathy Shannon has been the driving force behind the mission and growth of the Petroleum Museum for nearly thirty years. The Museum and the community owe a lot to her steadfast leadership and advocacy. As she retires, she seems confident about leaving her legacy in the capable hands of her staff, board of directors, and new executive director. Kathy stated, "I am excited about the future of the Museum and I know that under Bryan's direction, the Museum will continue to grow and prosper.”

The PBPA extends its warmest thanks to Kathy for her leadership during her tenure at the museum. She was an asset in educating the community about the Permian Basin oil and gas industry and helping share its rich history. We look forward to working with Bryan on sharing the significance of the Permian Basin petroleum industry and its impact moving forward!

Read the full press release here.

NM Senator Stuart Ingle to Retire

The Dean of the New Mexico Senate, Senator Stuart Ingle (R-Portales), has announced he is ending a run in the State Legislature’s senior body that spanned the better part of four decades. Senator Ingle has been an incredible representative for the people of Southeast New Mexico and the state in general, serving the Counties of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea, and Roosevelt as an exemplary statesman. 

While we congratulate Senator Ingle on his decision to step away from public service in Santa Fe, we also can’t thank him enough for the years of dedication, hard work, and wise leadership he has provided for New Mexico. The state has greatly benefited, more than most may ever realize, from the time and talents of Senator Ingle. Thank you, Senator Ingle, for all you have done to support and work for a better life for the people of New Mexico.

New Mexico Updates

PFAS in New Mexico

PBPA continues to work with fellow industry partners regarding the rulemaking application filed by environmental groups with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) focused on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, so-called “forever chemicals” (PFAS), in the oil and gas industry. We have identified legal counsel to represent us on these efforts and to prepare for the hearing on the proposed rule which is set for the week of February 26, 2024. If you have any questions about this particular issue, please reach out to Stephen (stephen@pbpa.info).

Proposed Revisions to the New Mexico Oil and Gas Act

PBPA continues to engage with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) as it explores revisions to the state’s Oil & Gas Act. At a recent stakeholder meeting, OCD Director Dylan Fuge offered his thoughts on the topics of Freshwater Use Restriction and Operational Setbacks for oil and gas activities. In summary:

1)     Setbacks would be established as follows, for the identified types of locations:

a.      2,500’ from Schools, hospitals, and other “congregate care facilities” like prisons, daycare centers, senior medical centers, and the like.

b.      1,500’ from Occupied structures (no definition for occupied structures was discussed)

c.      750’ from ecological receptors such as water bodies (his primary concern), riparian areas, arroyos, ephemeral streams, acequias, and the like.

OCD is looking for any proposed legislation to include language enabling the Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) to alter these setbacks in the future by rule. Existing oil and gas structures would be grandfathered, including established drilling pads so that future drilling on those grandfathered pads would be allowed. An exception process would be established. While environmental stakeholders pressed for exceptions to be based solely on technical matters, OCD seemed to realize that access to minerals, even though some might consider that to be an economic matter, should be seriously considered as an exception basis as well as technical matters. The Director included “equivalent impact” as one possible basis for exception if an operator wanted to build a modern, ultra-low emissions facility that could be placed at a smaller setback distance but have an equivalent emission impact on nearby receptors. As proposed by OCD, this is a one-way setback rule.

2)     Freshwater use restrictions. Director Fuge offered the idea of phasing in a ban of fresh water for hydraulic fracturing (HF) and seemed to be open to the idea of making that ban applicable to oil and gas operations in the south half of the state. Industry continues to push back on environmental groups wanting to further restrict 0-1000 ppm TDS water that is essential for wellbore construction and other activities, but the OCD seemed to not be willing to put further restrictions on any particular water use on anything other than HF. The Director clearly wanted industry to continue with innovations that could further reduce such high-quality water use on non-HF uses even further.

PBPA will continue to engage in these meetings as well as coordinate with NMOGA and IPANM on their efforts regarding the same. If you are interested in engaging on this issue, please contact Stephen (stephen@pbpa.info).

Texas Updates

Rule 8/Chapter 4

Members, PBPA is continuing to work on the Railroad Commission of Texas’ informal comment period regarding the changes to the current Rule 8 waste requirements and the creation of Chapter 4. This synopsis of the rule attempts to provide the context for this rulemaking.

If you operate any authorized pits currently falling under Rule 8, including construction, use, management, or closure of these pits, these changes will impact you. 

The RRC is holding two meetings for the public to provide comments, in which PBPA will participate. The information on the meetings this week is as follows:

  • At 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 26, the RRC will hold an in-person hearing in Room 1.111 of the William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress in Austin.

  • At 9 a.m. on Friday, October 27, the RRC will hold a virtual hearing using an internet meeting service. Individuals who plan to participate in the hearing by providing verbal comments or who want their participation on record must register by submitting the following information to Paul Dubois at Paul.Dubois@rrc.texas.gov: request to provide verbal comment, name, title, affiliation, and contact information including email address and daytime telephone number.


The PBPA plans on providing comments to the RRC on Thursday, October 26, and will monitor the comments offered on Friday. We will also provide a draft to members of the written comments that we intend to submit on Monday, October 30 so that you may review them and provide feedback by November 1st. Afterward, we will submit said comments to the Commission for their deadline on November 3rd.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Michael Lozano at michael@pbpa.info as soon as possible.

Federal Updates

PBPA’s Legal Action regarding the LPC

While PBPA was joined by many partners in filing our action in the Western District of Texas opposing the listing of the lesser prairie chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), there was another lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas by the Kansas Natural Resource Coalition (KNRC) and others. This suit specifically challenges the 4(d) Grazing Rule that includes restrictions for activities on the LPC habitat proposed for a threatened listing (i.e. the Northern Distinct Population Segment). 


Recently, the federal government answered the KNRC’s petition and moved to transfer that lawsuit to the Western District of Texas. The District of Kanas has granted that motion. We expect the federal government to also ask the Western District of Texas to consolidate the KNRC case with ours, but at this time, that has not occurred. Even if the KNRC case is consolidated with ours, we do not expect any delays to our case, as KNRC counsel has seen our scheduling order and has said they won’t ask for any changes to it.

Membership News

2024 Membership Renewals

The renewal process will begin next month for your 2024 membership dues. The PBPA is grateful for your membership and we need your continued support in advocating for the Permian Basin oil and gas industry in 2024.

To ensure you are receiving all PBPA communications and publications, make sure that your account information is up-to-date.


Individual members, please complete the online form linked below to submit any account information updates.


Corporate members*, log into the Members-Only center on the website to view the information we have on file and update your account. Once logged in, click "Manage Company Info" to update your account. If you don't remember your login, click "Need a Password?" to create your login.


Need assistance logging in or submitting your form? Email Christine Dooley at christine@pbpa.info.

*Corporate level members are those at the Gusher level or higher. 

Individual Member Update
Corporate Member Update

PBPA Events

The date for the 2024 Top Hand Award Banquet has been set!


Join us for an evening honoring our esteemed 2023 Top Hand, C. Richard "Dick" Sivalls.


Registration will open on Wednesday, November 1st. More details regarding this event will be announced at a later date!

2024 Top Hand Banquet

Committee Meetings

  • Regulatory Practices Committee: 11/21
  • Species, Habitat Operations Committee: 11/29
  • Oilfield Theft Working Group: 12/12

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

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.

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

Full Course Schedule

IPAA 94th Annual Meeting

November 6 - 8, 2023

San Antonio, TX

The IPAA 94th Annual Meeting will take place next month in San Antonio, TX. At the event, you will Connect, Cultivate, and Communicate with national speakers, policymakers, and industry experts.


Register today to hear from industry leaders and key policy makers from Washington D.C. who are making decisions that affect the future of oil and natural gas production in the United States.


Permian Road Safety Coalition Luncheon

Thursday, November 2, 2023


Ward County Event Center

1525 E Monahans Pkwy

Monahans, TX

Visit PRSC Website
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