Vol. 7, Issue No. 4



In this version of The Standard, we provide updates including information on the status of the Atencio v. New Mexico lawsuit, our efforts to combat oilfield theft, and the annual HSE Benchmarking Survey. Our team has been hard at work advocating for the oil and gas industry in the Permian and your input and participation are highly appreciated.

Below, you will also find information on our Clay Shoot + Pit King Challenge, the upcoming new member center, and other important information. As always, we also provide details on upcoming PBPA events and other relevant community activities:

Important Updates

  • 2024 Clay Shoot + Oil Ptach Pit King Challenge
  • Atencio v. New Mexico
  • I-14 Update
  • PBPA Leadership Advocates in Washington, D.C.
  • Security Update
  • BLM Waste Prevention Rule
  • Oilfield Security Initiative
  • Annual HSE Benchmarking Survey
  • New Member Center & Website Features
  • RECAP: Golf Tournament
  • 2024 Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar
  • Committee Meetings

Community Events

  • Midland College PPDC Training Courses
  • RRC Regulatory Conference
  • Roundtable Lunch
  • Additional events can be found on the calendar in the Member-Only Center!


Ben Shepperd

PBPA President

2024 Clay Shoot +

Oil Patch Pit King Challenge

This annual event takes place at Jake's Clays in Midland, TX, and features a morning sporting clay shoot followed by a delicious cook-off lunch. PBPA's Clay Shoot is a great way to meet fellow industry leaders or treat your team to a day of fun and fellowship.

Not a shooter? Show off your skills by entering the Oil Patch Pit King Challenge and serve up your best pit delicacies at the event for a chance to be named this year's Pit King.

Event Schedule:

  • 8:30 AM: Morning Rotation Registration
  • 9:00 AM: Shotgun Start
  • 11:15 AM: Pit King Challenge will be ready & lunch served
  • 1:00 PM: Awards Presented! Must be present to win.
Register + Sponsor

New Mexico Update

Atencio v. New Mexico Update

At the end of March, Judge Matthew Wilson of the 1st Judicial District Court granted the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce’s and Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico's (IPANM) official Motions to Intervene in the Atencio vs. New Mexico lawsuit. This was a critical ruling that ensured both the Chamber, of which PBPA is a member and IPANM will have a direct "seat at the table" throughout the lawsuit. 

Since these Motions to Intervene were granted a Motion to Dismiss, submitted by the defense, was heard by the judge. A decision was not made from the bench, and at the time of writing this report, we are still waiting on the judge’s ruling.

Please reach out to Stephen Robertson (stephen@pbpa.info) for more information.

Texas Update

I-14 TxDOT Plan Update

As most of you know, a connection of roads reaching from Georgia to the Permian Basin has been designated by the federal government as I-14. The designation of these roadways as a federal interstate means that numerous state and U.S. highways are to be upgraded to interstate standards. This will greatly improve the road infrastructure supporting our region. This new interstate system, which stretches over 1,000 miles, should improve connectivity and mobility for all those residential, commercial, and industrial interests situated along the path. Recently, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released an updated Implementation Plan and Report for the portions of this interstate that traverse Texas. This plan and report provide background about the interstate system, summarize, existing and forecast conditions within the roadway network, and provide an implementation plan of the projects and studies that are needed for its completion. You can find a copy of this report here: https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/get-involved/statewide/i-14-system-in-texas/032924-implementation-plan.pdf.

Federal Update

PBPA Leadership Advocates in Washington, D.C.


Earlier this month, a team from PBPA including PBPA staff, our current chairman, Tommy Taylor, former chairman, Steve Pruett, our chairman-elect, Jeff Sparks, and Jimmy Carlile, co-chair of PBPA’s Regulatory Practices Committee, made a trip to our nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress to discuss several high priority issues for our membership.


While we have largely focused our legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts on state issues in Austin and Santa Fe over the last decade or so, in recent years, PBPA has been called upon more and more to voice our concerns and interest about federal actions. Whether it concerns the LNG pause, methane regulations, Endangered Species Act listings, oilfield security, or several other issues, with the Permian Basin’s position as the clear-cut number one energy-producing region in the United States, federal actions impacting oil and gas production impact our region and your livelihoods.


We greatly appreciate the time and efforts put forth by those members of Congress and their staff who met with us, listened to our concerns, and are willing to work with us to find solutions so that the Permian Basin can continue to provide the fuel, security, environmental improvement, and economic benefits that our communities, states, nation and the world needs. Thank you to Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn, Congressman August Pfluger, Congressman Tony Gonzales, Congressman Jodey Arrington, Congressman Bruce Westerman, Congressman Marc Veasey, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, Congresswoman Teresa Leger-Fernandez, Congressman Pete Sessions and Congressman Dan Crenshaw for their willingness to understand our industry’s vital role to prosperity and security. We look forward to continuing to work with them on ways to protect your right to operate in the Permian Basin.

Security Update


The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in partnership with U.S. and international government agencies published a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) on malicious activity by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor, known as Volt Typhoon, to compromise critical infrastructure and associated actions that should be urgently undertaken by all organizations.

CISA and its U.S. Government partners have confirmed that PRC state-sponsored cyber actors have compromised entities across critical infrastructure sectors, including communications, energy, transportation, and water, in the United States and its territories. The data, gathered by CISA and its U.S. Government partners, suggests the PRC is preparing for destructive cyber-attacks, posing a threat to American’s safety and military readiness in the event of a major crisis or conflict with the United States.

In addition to the joint Cybersecurity Advisory, CISA and our partners also released complementary Joint Guidance to assist all organizations in effectively detecting and hunting for sophisticated techniques used by actors such as Volt Typhoon, known as “living off the land.” In recent years, there has been a strategic shift in PRC cyber threats activity from espionage to preparing for disruptive cyber-attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure. PRC cyber actors employ “living off the land” techniques to blend in with normal system and network activities, evade detection by network defenses, and minimize activity captured in common logging configurations. 

The joint CSA is based primarily on technical insights gleaned from CISA and industry response activities at victim organizations within the United States, primarily in communications, energy, transportation, and water and wastewater sectors. Our complementary Joint Guidance is derived from those insights as well as previously published products, red team assessments, and industry partners.

For more information, visit People's Republic of China Cyber Threat.

BLM Waste Prevention Rule


On April 10, 2024, the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resources Conservation final rule was published in the Federal Registry. This final rule goes into effect 60 days after publication, being June 9.  See Waste Prevention Rule | Bureau of Land Management (blm.gov). Previously, BLM had issued proposals to regulate venting and flaring from production on public and Indian lands in 2016 and 2018, which resulted in lengthy litigation and both rulemakings ultimately being struck down. In 2022, the BLM proposed a new Waste Prevention Rule which, in its finalized version, is what is now published in the Federal Register.  While the rule does not become effective until June, some provisions contained within the rule have phase-in dates that may vary from 6 – 18 months. The below is a brief summary of the final rule. Other summaries of the rule, that may be helpful, include BLM’s Fact Sheet, BLM Q&A re Waste Prevention.


The Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule, more commonly known as the Waste Prevention Rule, focuses on reducing natural gas emissions from flaring, venting, and leaks, and increases royalty reporting requirements to provide additional royalty revenues to the federal government and Indian lessors. With the reality being that prior proposals from BLM in this arena were struck down by federal courts due to BLM’s lack of jurisdiction to regulate environmental issues, the agency has changed its approach, kind of, to regulate emissions from facilities by withdrawing regulations related to pneumatics pumps and controllers and VRUs from the final rule; however, the agency still seeks to vigorously regulate the venting and flaring of production. 


The final rule expands operator production reporting and recordkeeping requirements for vented and flared volumes and the Department of Interior may impose significant penalties against operators, shut in or curtail production, or later pursue lease cancelation under existing provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act when an operator fails to “use all reasonable precautions to prevent waste of oil or gas developed.” The preamble to the final rule indicates that an operator’s duty to use all reasonable precautions to prevent waste is a higher standard than merely avoiding negligence or acting as a reasonably prudent operator. This means that BLM believes that oil and gas operators now may owe a somewhat higher standard of care to reduce waste when producing from federal and Indian oil and gas leases. 


For further details on this rule, including Key Provisions & Changes in the Final Rule compared to previous offerings from BLM and the effective dates for various sections of the rule, please contact stephen@pbpa.info

Permian Basin Update

Oilfield Security Initiative

After kicking off our Oilfield Security Initiative in 2023, PBPA has now held multiple meetings for membership focused on the increase in oilfield crime in the Permian Basin. Representatives from local law enforcement and the FBI attended these meetings to present to PBPA members and to discuss possible solutions moving forward. Since the first meeting of this initiative, PBPA staff have continued to engage with local law enforcement, state law enforcement, the FBI, as well as local, state, and federal elected officials regarding the topic. Earlier this month, Congressman Tony Gonzales, at the encouragement of PBPA, discussed the issue publicly with FBI director Christopher Wray during a House Appropriations hearing. (see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IwUrr4AvP8). According to the FBI, while other items, such as tools, equipment, tubing, and vehicles, have also been stolen, over 70% of the value of thefts currently occurring in the Permian Basin are of crude oil and copper. In the last 18 months, nearly 40,000 barrels of oil have been reported as stolen. 

To combat these crimes, there needs to be an increase in awareness and engagement from operators in the field, an increase in investigations and arrests from local law enforcement and the FBI, and an increase in prosecutions. Ultimately, new legislation at the state and federal level supporting these efforts may be necessary. As has been discussed in PBPA’s Oilfield Security Initiative meetings, at the state level legislative efforts could include increasing punishments or penalties for oil theft or requiring tubing segments to be registered, which have been offered in the past, or could include new efforts like requiring a DPS lieutenant to be assigned to the Permian Basin for oilfield crime or increased funding the Railroad Commission’s investigative services. In the meantime, PBPA continues to work other avenues to increase security in the field. If you or any of your internal security personnel are interested in joining PBPA’s Oilfield Security Initiative, please let us know.

Member News

The PBPA Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) Committee is ready to conduct the 7th HSE benchmarking survey to allow PBPA member companies to compare their safety incident, spill performance, and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) statistics to blinded data obtained from peer-companies. This year, we will continue the pattern from last year and gather data for one year, 2023, for all aspects of the survey.


If your company would like to participate in the survey, please contact our team for further information. All survey data must be submitted by the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024

Please note that if you do not participate, you will not have access to the information submitted by other companies. Benchmarking data will only be reported/distributed to PBPA member companies that participate in the survey. All data obtained during this study will be held confidentially and blinded by PBPA staff so that company names cannot be identified by any other participant.

Contact PBPA Staff

The PBPA will soon launch a NEW online Member Center and website features! 

So, what does this mean for you? Here are a few highlights:

  • New Website Features: In the upcoming weeks, we will be launching additional features to our website including an upgraded online membership application, an interactive calendar of events, a comprehensive job board, and more. 

  • An Upgraded Online Member Center: Get ready for our cutting-edge Member Center. It's an all-in-one platform that will revolutionize how you interact with the PBPA and your fellow members -- from updating your member directory information to seamless event registration and invoice payment, the Member Center will simplify your engagement with us and your fellow members.

  • Amplified Connectivity and Brand Awareness: The new website features and online Member Center will empower you to forge stronger connections with fellow members. Your organization's brand awareness will be significantly boosted across numerous platforms through various features and functionalities.

There's no action required from you at this time. However, a few weeks from now, you will receive an email prompting you to create a login and access the online Member Center. It is crucial that you do so to ensure you receive the maximum benefits of your membership.


While we are taking every possible measure to ensure a smooth transition during this period, there is a possibility of a brief interruption in website access or the online Member Center. However, know that our staff remains readily available to address all your needs. We are just a phone call or email away.

Please reach out to Christine Dooley at christine@pbpa.info with questions or for additional information.

PBPA Events

RECAP: Spring Swing Golf Tournament

The Spring Swing Golf Tournament this month was a blast! Thank you to everyone who joined us at Odessa Country Club for a day of fun and networking.


A special thank you to all sponsors, cookers, and volunteers who helped make the event possible. We couldn't have done it without you!

Official Event Photos

2024 Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar

Register for the 2024 PBERS

Committee Meetings

  • Regulatory Practices Committee: 5/21/2024

For more information on these or any of our other committees, please contact Stephen Robertson at stephen@pbpa.info or (432) 684-6345.

Community Events

PPDC Programs

MC PPDC provides quality training programs designed to keep oil and gas industry professionals current in their areas of expertise by offering the latest industry updates, as well as providing timely and pertinent educational opportunities. Click the link below for upcoming classes being offered by the MC PPDC in the coming months.

Customized Training Available! For more information contact Midland College PPDC at (432) 683-2832 or cepetroleumtraining@midland.edu

Full Course Schedule

Railroad Commission of Texas Regulatory Conference

Save the Dates — 2024 RRC Regulatory Conference

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) invites oil & gas and pipeline operators and other industry representatives to attend its annual conference.


Who: Railroad Commission of Texas

What: 2024 RRC Regulatory Conference


When: Tuesday, July 30 - Wednesday, July 31, 2024


Where: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas


Registration will open in early June. To view the event webpage, visit the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/organization-and-activities/activities/workshops-and-conferences/2024-rrc-regulatory-conference/.

Roundtable Lunch

While PBPA does not engage in political activity, we always want to make sure our members are aware of opportunities to get to know candidates or elected officials who could make decisions that impact operations in the Permian Basin. This is not a PBPA event or an endorsement of any candidate or party.

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