Mike Cantrell Saddened By Devon Decision

Veteran energy industry expert Mike Cantrell tells The McCarville Report he is saddened by Devon Energy’s decision to leave the Oklahoma Independent Energy Association (OIPA).

Cantrell sent this statement:

Devon has been a valued member of OIPA and one of Oklahoma’s best companies for many years. As one board member of OIPA I am saddened by their decision to leave . At the same time they have exhibited the same kind of integrity they have always shown by doing so.

The OIPA is not a civic or religious organization. It is a trade association. That means it exist to promote the interest of Independent producers in Oklahoma- all of them. Devon has made a business decision according to what they believe is in their company’s interest.

The oil and gas industry in Oklahoma is made up of over 5000 operators, many thousands of working interest partners, and hundreds of thousands of mineral owners. Representing all of them at once is cumbersome at times. Democracy is messy. I have been on the board for over 35 years and President for two. There have been many disagreements over policy in that time. Somehow we have always managed to work them out; often through spirited debate and compromise.
By far my own preference would be for all Independent producers to stay in the same association and continue to work for solutions in the best interest of the entire industry.

Several years ago several of the largest companies joined and changed the name of the old Midcontinent oil and gas association and lobbied directly for their interest. That is their right and it most certainly advantaged them politically. It was smart. They get to push their own agenda as public companies with their own association lobbyist as well as several lobbyist of their own . OIPA has one lobbyist. That lobbyist is the only one most independent producers have. I personally consider it a conflict to serve on two Oklahoma oil and gas association boards with opposing agendas.

I have great respect for Devon coupled with tremendous admiration for their founder Larry Nichols. While I regret this decision and my own lack of ability to do my part toward another solution, I respect the integrity of their decision.

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