The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is moving quickly on a response by one petroleum organization to order a cut in oil production across the state, but the public isn’t getting much of an opportunity to learn about it.
An Administrative Law Judge has ordered a hearing set for Friday, April 17 at 9 a.m. on a request for an emergency order filed late last week by the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance and a Tulsa oil firm identified as LPD Energy Company LLC located at 1743 E. 71st Street. It is the same address for the law firm of Levinson, Smith and Huffman which also represents the OEPA
Attorney Lee I. Levinson, who is general counsel to the OEPA filed the request on behalf of his LPD Energy firm, for an emergency order on April 10 asking the Commission to “issue an order finding that the production of oil in the State of Oklahoma under currently existing conditions may constitute economic waste.” His motion asked the commission to enter an interim order to assist in the “prevention of waste and optimize production.”
Levinson’s original request was for the Commission to hear it “En Banc” without going through an Administrative Law Judge. But this week, the matter was quickly referred to ALJ Jan Preslar who is a Senior Administration Law judge in the Commission’s Western Regional Service Office. She has been an ALJ with the Commission since June 2019 and previously was a General Counsel for the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and as a Deputy Attorney General.
But the rush for the hearing was met with criticism from Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony who referred how procedures of the Texas Railroad Commission in hearing a similar request this week were far different than what is about to transpire in Oklahoma.
“The Texas Railroad Commission gave 10 hours of full attention to the question and Oklahoma should have an open process,” he told OK Energy Today. Anthony indicated there should be a published notice before deciding an emergency request where the merits and facts can be discussed.
However, Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Commission said only a 24-hour notice of such a hearing is required by law. He indicated the Friday morning hearing was designed “to move the case along to the hearing that is scheduled May 11th.”
The request filed by attorney Levinson, according to the motion filed April 10 has been set to be heard by the Commission “Sitting En Banc” on May 4. The request filed by the OEPA has been set for a hearing on May 11.