Introduction

It would be well at the outset to define the scope of the assigned subject lest it develop into such far reaching avenues as to be meaningless in purpose and, even worse, generally uninteresting. Accordingly, I shall apply the definition at both ends of the topic. "Institutional" for our purposes here shall apply to non-profit institutions such as universities, to trusts and to pension and profit sharing plans. "Oil and gas interests" shall apply to any type of direct ownership by recordable assignment of title to unproduced oil and/or gas other than the actual leasehold or working interest. The term shall not apply to stocks or obligations of corporations engaged in any or all phases of the oil and gas business unless it be the stock or obligation of a corporation created solely for the purpose of holding title to such interest for the benefit of the investing institution. Moreover, to focus attention on the particular area we wish to explore it would be well to restrict the word "Investments" to the intentional employment of endowment or other available funds at calculated risk with expectation of fair return or enhancement in value thus contrasting with "gifts"which while possibly qualifying under the term investments after being included in the institution's assets, do not as a matter of fact reflect investment policy in the sense in which we wish to pursue the subject here. Naturally there's a vast difference in the mental attitude toward the acceptance of an oil or gas interest as a gift and intentional investment of trust funds in such an undertaking.

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