1962 Economics and Valuation Symposium, Dallas, March 15–16, 1962

When I accepted the invitation to talk on abandonment pressures of natural gas fields I thought the task would be that of consulting various easily-found records, abstracting such data as I thought to bear on the subject, presenting it along with a few apposite observations on my part and the job would be done.

Well, man proposes but God disposes. When I came to examine these records in order that I could, by definite reference, validate my already tailing memory, I found that either they never had existed except in my recollection, or that they had long since been destroyed as of no possible interest to anyone. I felt somewhat as the woman at the zoo who inquired as to the sex of a particular hippopotamus only to be told that such information could be of interest only to another hippopotamus.

After visits to the Conservation Department at Baton Rouge and the Railroad Commission at Austin, after combing our own files for whatever was available, I found myself in that harrowing position of finding that the available data did not agree with my pre-conceived ideas on the subject. As I recall, in my time we produced gas reservoir until the last taint whisper of escaping gas could be heard. Instead of pressure gauges we used water manometers. Our orifice meters — if we were able to measure such minute amounts of gas as were flowing — had one-eighth inch orifice plates.

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