Would like advice about re-unitization hearing before the Department of Conservation.

Has anyone attended one of the hearings before the Commissioner in Baton Rouge? I would like to know if it is an open type forum or if there is a particular protocol that must be strictly followed. In other words, is it user friendly to the novice.

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Let me put it this way, There is a reason even the large players hire local counsel and geologists to form new production units....
I attended one in Shreveport. The impression I got is that they did not want to hear my comments and that the meeting was held because it is a requirement in the legal process. The geologist that presented the rationale for the size of units should have been embarrassed by using technically inaccurate data to support the need for Haynesville Shale units of 900 plus acres, but that was what he was paid to do. If you are to attend the hearing, I suggest you present an alternative to what is being proposed and request a response in writing of your proposal. If you just make negative comments, it is easy for them to ignore you.
Bud, from your description of the meeting you attended in Shreveport, I really think you attended a pre-hearing conference, and not a public hearing. A pre-hearing conference is a meeting between the interested parties (those that received a Notice) and does not include the Commissioner or his staff. At the pre-hearing conference, the applicant (normally his lawyer and his geologist) are at the conference to explain their proposal and to answer questions. The object of the pre-hearing conference is to have agreement among all of the interested parties (but this does not always happen). After the pre-hearing conference, the applicant files for a public hearing before the Commissioner of Conservation and his staff. Anyone who is opposed to the applicants proposal has the right to file a counterplan (objection) to the applicants proposal. Usually, all counterplans are handled by lawyers and geologists hired to represent the opponents. All people that attend the hearing will be afforded an opportunity to make a statement, either in support of the proposals, or they may object. The Commissioner is required to make his decision based on all information contained in the Record of the hearing. The hearing is transcribed by a court reporter. Rules of Procedure (see my previous email for address) are followed.
I found a site on the DNR/Conservation web that describes the procedure used at Hearings before the Commissioner. It seems to me from reading the document that a Hearing is certainly an "open forum" where anyone can express their opinions by making a statement. http://dnr.louisiana.gov/title43/43v19.pdf#page=117.
It is a public meeting, and you can comment, but Bud is correct. Simplyu expressing an opinion is not suffiecient. If you oppose a unit, fine, but you better have a good reason and evidence to support your claims to present to the board. Simply stating that you do not approve of your interest being diluted is not suffiecient.
If you challenge, you best have all pockets filled with ammo. I had a lady contest a 640 acre unit and wound with an 820 acre unit.
Strength in numbers. "Gotta Getta Game Plan," perhaps sign a highly qualified "coach." 80)
I hate to tell you, but they will only take you seriously if you have an attorney and a geo.
~ Earlene doing a flyby :-D
It's a pathetic game that the state plays to pretend to care about the land owners and their rights. In the end, they do what they want unless you make it clear that you will fight them every step of the way. There is no justification for larger units. They know it and we know it.


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