Page images
PDF
EPUB

without communitizing all the rest of it. I would have about seven or eight in the pool if, as, and when I do it.

I do not think anybody objects to cooperating in the winning of this war and the prosecuting of the war effort. I think everybody wants to cooperate. I think every one of us realizes that the gentlemen in the Office of the Petroleum Coordinator have a tremendous job to try to work this thing out. However, I feel personally that we should throw these things aside when an emergency comes up and should take care of the emergency at the present time.

As I said before, if we can take care of it out of Texas or Louisiana or somewhere else, let us get the job done.

Senator LEE. Do you favor the construction of this barge canal?

Mr. Jarvis. Senator, I am not qualified to speak on that; I guess I have not paid much attention to it.

Senator LEE. I thought that was what this hearing was about.
Senator CARAWAY. He is speaking on the Lucas amendment.
Senator LEE. What relation does that have to the barge canal ?
Senator CARAWAY. It is just an amendment to this bill.
Senator LEE. I wondered if he would tell us.

Mr. JARVIS. I could not tell you, Senator; I am not qualified to comment on it.

Representative ARNOLD. May I answer the Senator, Madam Chairman?

Senator CARAWAY. Yes.

Representative ARNOLD. It has this relationship, Senator: It offers a method of getting oil to the East by the shortest and quickest means of transportation possible pending the construction of this pipe line and other facilities--canal facilities for accomplishing that purpose.

Senator LEE. In effect, then, it is against the canal, in that it would make the canal unnecessary?

Representative ARNOLD. No, sir. We cannot supply all the needs of the East, but we can help supply them pending the time when the other facilities are completed.

Senator LEE. Was it pointed out that there are no transportation problems between Illinois and the eastern seaboard that would still stand in the way even if this amendment were agreed to?

Representative ARNOLD. We have barge facilities that we intend to use when the pipe line comes up to Illinois. We have transcontinental rail lines, such as the Pennsylvania and the Baltimore & Ohio. We have huge facilities for getting oil rapidly to the East.

Senator LEE. And those transportation facilities could carry it from Oklahoma, too, could they not?

Senator CARAWAY. It would be a longer haul.

Representative ARNOLD. They are carrying it from Oklahoma, but we are less than half the distance. You do not have the barge facilities, Senator, that we have from Cairo.

Senator LEE. From the statements that have been made before, you would still have to construct barges.

Representative ARNOLD. I think the statements here have been . that there is a large number of barges already available.

Senator LEE. But they are, I understand, being used to capacity

Mr. Jarvis. My idea is that in this emergency in the East at the present time we can do more in Illinois to relieve that situation.

now.

The building of the pipe line from Texas to Illinois is not going to relieve that situation at this time. Neither is any other pipe line. It takes too long to construct them.

As Senator Lucas stated this morning, we are going into the winter months with the people of the East in dire need of fuel. I do not know just how we figured out that a tank car would make so many trips to Illinois and back to the eastern seaboard or how many it would make by going clear to the Gulf coast or into Texas.

Senator LEE. May I ask Mr. De Golyer a question?

Mr. LEVY. Mr. De Golyer is not here this afternoon. I should be glad to get an answer for you.

Senator LEE. I just wondered what the Oil Coordinator's opinion was with reference to the Lucas amendment.

Mr. Levy. I believe that Mr. Knowlton gave that answer this morning. He was opposed to it.

Senator VANDENBERG. The thing that puzzles me about the Lucas amendment, if that is the way we can identify it, is how we who sit on this committee are to know if this technical formula is a proper one.

I do not believe we are qualified to say that there ought to be:

One well to each 5 acres of surface area as to sand horizons at or about a depth of 1,250 feet.

One well to each 10 acres of surface area as to sand horizons below a depth of 1,250 feet and at or above a depth of 2,500 feet.

One well to each 20 acres of surface area as to sand horizons below a depth of 2,500 feet and at or above a depth of 3,300 feet.

That certainly does not mean anything to me.
Senator CARAWAY. It does not to me, either.

Senator VANDENBERG. I do not think it is fair to ask us to write that into the law of the land without justification from some governmental authority.

Mr. Jarvis. I think Senator Lucas touched on that this morning.

Senator VANDENBERG. Surely. He said he did not know anything about it either.

Mr. Jarvis. He does not know anything about the technical side of it, of course, but I think he referred more to the emergency than to anything else.

Senator VANDENBERG. That is all right; we can all agree on that; but when you get down to writing a formula, are we entitled to accept that? I do not question the good faith with which the formula is offered, but is a committee of Congress entitled to accept the formula of a witness in a matter as important as this without having the approval of some Government agency? It does not seem so to me. How does it seem to you?

Mr. Jarvis. Well, there would be a question as to whether a Government agency is qualified to answer that. That goes back to the technicalities I was talking about awhile ago. You can project with the best engineer and have him appraise the property with reference to the recovery per foot, but he could not swear on his life to that. He just has an idea that there are vast developments in that particular sand.

For instance—and perhaps I can explain it to you in this way, there is in Illinois a sand that we in our fraternity call a long-life Benoist sand. But when I go out and drill a well in Benoist sand

а.

and get 10 feet of saturation, there is no engineer on earth who can tell me the amount of recovery that sand is going to produce.

Senator VANDENBERG. All you are proving to me is that I know less and less of what is in this amendment.

Senator LEE. Mr. Jarvis, is it your contention that the Lucas amendment will allow you to drill more wells and that as a result of drilling those additional wells you can reduce the shortage on the eastern seaboard ?

Mr. JARVIS. We can reduce a portion of the shortage, Senator; not all of it, but a portion of it--and we can do it very quickly.

Senator LEE. What do you mean by very quickly? How long do you estimate it would take for you to locate, drill, and bring into production enough of these wells to make up the difference?

Mr. Jarvis. I will answer that in this way, by giving you an idea of how long it takes to drill a well.

Senator CARAWAY (chairman of the subcommittee). Senator Lee, Senator Hill has just sent word to us that we will have to go down and answer a roll call; then we can come back. I think it is rather important,

Senator LEE. I shall just ask this question. How long does it take to drill a well?

Mr. Jarvis. It takes, for a 1,800-foot well, 5 days; for a 2,500-foot to a 3,000-foot well, about 10 or 12 days.

(At this time short recess was taken. The following then occurred :)

Senator CARAWAY. Mr. Jarvis, will you please resume your statement?

Mr. JARVIS. Yes. I was answering a question of Senator Lee's with reference to the length of time it takes to drill a well in Illinois. I believe that the answer is now in the record.

As to the weight of the steel, we use mostly 17-pound o. d. casing, and we can use lighter pipe.

I might add here, in conclusion, that we operators in Illinois,and I believe I speak for 90 percent of the independents—do not care to go back to Illinois and have a wild drilling campaign, as set out by Mr. Knowlton here this morning. There is nobody with any sense who wants to do that. Those things were caused in Illinois during the heyday of the big production in Salem district by a few small tracts owned by independent operators, although larger companies had acreage around. A lot of drilling was caused in a small spot. But those places in Illinois are very few and far between.

Furthermore—and this is only my personal opinion—I take occasion to differ with Mr. Knowlton again on the wastage in Illinois since that production was discovered there. I do not think his statement is true. That has been allowed ever since proration days in Oklahoma and Kansas. That is strictly a proration proposition, so far as I personally am concerned. We do not waste it when we put it in refineries and put it in automobiles. If people who own leases want to do that, that is their business.

We have had a lot of talk and you have probably read a lot in the papers about the tremendous wastage of gas in Illinois. That is not true. If we had wells in Illinois that were making 15,000,000 or 20,000,000 feet of gas a day, all going into the air, that would be waste.

74347—42--13

For your information, I have seen that many times in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. But in Illinois our gas ratio is low. When

you see flares burning in those fields, it is more of a safety measure; it is not done to destroy that natural resource.

It so happens in that State that we have a very heavy atmosphere, especially in the evening, and the residue gas that comes from the wells, if it is not burning flares, carries on the ground, and it is very dangerous. That is one of the principal reasons why those flares are burning. If you see 200 or 300 flares burning at night, it looks like a great waste; but it is not commercially profitable to try to save it; consequently, that is why it is done.

I think I have covered the whole matter. Again I wish to reiterate that I am not taking issue with the Office of the Petroleum Coordinator or telling it how to run this thing. I am only offering an individual suggestion of what I think is the thing to do.

I heard the statements with reference to these pipe lines this morning. It is my opinion that a pipe line should be built from my district to the East instead of from Texas to Illinois. Then, when the steel is available, the line could be projected down that way. I firmly believe that we are starting on the wrong end. Our distress is in the East, not in Illinois or in the South.

It is true that when the line comes in there we can probably move a great deal more oil to the East. But that is not today. Today is when we have the emergency; it may not exist 9 months or a year from now if you will start moving some of this oil out of Illinois.

I, for one, believe that either a change has to be made in this order or a change has to be made in the price of oil. Every pipe line is craving oil. They are after it every day. For every new well you start there are two or three pipe-line companies after you for a conmection. That would not be true if there was not a demand for oil in the present situation.

I do not know about the transportation system, but I do know that we can transport oil from Illinois. I think that any 12-year-old school child knows that you can transport it from Illinois to the East much faster than you can from Louisiana, Texas, California, or any other State, because we are just fortunately situated that way. In this emergency I think that should be done, regardless of whether we want to do it or not.

I think I told Mr. Davies and Mr. Knowlton in our first conference that, in my opinion, the operators of Illinois, if it were necessary to the best interests of this war effort to take all the oil out of Texas or all the oil out of Louisiana, would all be satisfied to have that done. I do not think there is an industry in the country today that will not go the limit to cooperate with the Government in winning this war. I believe they will all do their best.

I think, in closing, that if we were allowed to drill our wells on 10-acre spacing to all sands and 20-acre spacing to lime, everybody would go out and get the oil necessary.

I thank you.

Senator CARAWAY. Thank you, Mr. Jarvis.

Senator PEPPER. Madam Chairman, Judge Mansfield, chairman of the House Committee on Rivers and Harbors, is present. I imagine the other speakers would be willing to defer to Jude Mansfield if

they knew he had indicated a willingness to make a statement on this matter.

Senator CARAWAY. We shall be glad to hear you, Judge Mansfield. STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, A MEMBER OF THE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM TEXAS Representative MANSFIELD. Madam Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: I do not know that I can add anything to what has been said before your committee. I have not kept up with your hearings. I am quite sure that I cannot add anything very material to what developed before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House.

As you know, I introduced this bill for the purpose of trying to relieve the situation. I am a member of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and I got tired of having a race to see whether or not we could build ships faster than the Germans destroyed them. My view was that our ships on the high seas and the Gulf should be used in the foreign service, where they can be convoyed and operated with very much greater safety than they can be operated in the domestic trade. I though that Congress ought to be big enough in some way to provide for our domestic commerce while our Nation is at war.

Last fall, in the month of September—I was not advocating this barge line across Florida at that time—I wrote to Mr. Ickes suggesting a pipe line across Florida. I wrote also to Mr. Pelly, of the Association of American Railroads, suggesting a short rail haul. The suggestion I made to him was made to me by prominent engineers, some of them in the railway service. They gave me the routes over the railroads that could operate such a service from Port St. Joe to Jacksonville. They suggested two different routes. One was something less than 300 miles long; the other was about 317 miles long. They gave me also estimates of the amount of money that would be necessary for terminals, and that was somewhere between two million and three million dollars, as I recall; I do not remember the exact figures.

I could not get Mr. Ickes or Mr. Pelly interested. Mr. Pelly replied that on the day I had written him he had appeared before some commission and testified, and he sent me a copy of his testimony, in which he claimed that the railroads could haul all the oil and gasoline that was needed for the East. I could not get anything along those lines.

Then I introduced this bill. My view is that if a pipe line can be established across Florida, it is the most practical thing that can be suggested for immediate relief. Of course, it will take some time for a barge line to be constructed. Just how long will depend upon what Congress will do. It will depend, of course, upon whether equipment and other things of that kind can be secured.

Testimony before our committee was that it would require ordinarily from 21/2 to 3 years, and I presume that the testimony over here has been much the same. But a few weeks ago there was in my office a gentleman from Baltimore. At this moment I cannot recall his name. He was head of a large contracting company. I regard him as the highest authority we have on dredging and things of that kind. He said that if he had equipment made available, he could have that barge line put across there in less than 10 months.

« PreviousContinue »