Your TMS Information Source Since 2012

Have a TMS tip? Share it here and keep up with latest on our Facebook Page or Twitter!


A Personal Ramble...Me and the TMS Over Time...

Posted by bernell on October 26, 2014

Pardon me as I share a Sunday afternoon break from work.

(I remain behind and can’t seemingly catch up…the ox is so deep in the ditch that he thinks it’s home!)

I thought I’d chronicle a bit of life history for posterity and provide, again, for newcomers here, my interest in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play.


I’ve spent my life watching things happen with oil and gas activities in the Liberty, Mississippi area.  I honestly never thought about it much until recently, but I feel a bit like Forrest Gump as he experienced the highlights of history while growing up.

When I was a pre-schooler there was an oil “boom” in the Liberty area.  Oil field hands located in a mobile home park my grandparents developed just ahead of the boom and, then, stacked mobile homes almost on top of each other as it hit its full stride. 

Our home was perhaps 50 yards or so from my grandparent’s home and located on the edge of the mobile home park.  Many of my early friends were children of tool pushers and other oil field workers.  My first grade teacher was the wife of one of the petroleum engineers brought into the area…they lived a couple of blocks from my home.

My father got a job as a truck driver on an oil truck somewhere during this time frame and retired after a full career with the company, from driving a truck for many years, to serving as a part time gauger, and later serving as a truck driver trainer, company-wide safety supervisor, and, later still, as a truck terminal manager, among other related duties.  He still provides great insight into the oil fields of Amite County from his over 30 year career in the area.

One summer I worked as a deckhand on a towboat pushing oil barges up the Mississippi River and fuel down…a job open to children of my father’s company.  It was interesting work, but I hated the isolation from family.  I tip my hat to folks who do this sort of work.

(On a side note, I observed, up close, true alcoholism while working this job.  Some folks, like me, hate the isolation, it seems, but then bury themselves in alcohol to combat it…sad.)

Then, after college and spending our first few professional years in the Jackson, Mississippi area, my wife and I decided to return home to Liberty, our home.  About this time, the early 1980’s oil exploration again picked up in the Liberty, Mississippi area. Three wells were drilled on my family property (all with oil on top of water and, therefore, unproducible).  Several other wells were drilled near my family property and my wife had a well drilled on her family property, also.  So, we were excited without anything to show for it during this time frame.

During this mini-boom, I opened a fulltime accounting practice and obtained several clients who bought and sold minerals and royalties, along with a small gas pipeline company and other oilfield related businesses.  I peripherally learned a great deal about the oil activities.

Later I had a small operating company as a client, while keeping the mineral/royalty dealer clients such that I never got away from oil, though it wasn’t a major source of revenue for my practice.  I do recall a client, since deceased, telling me all about the TMS and that it was going to change things.  I honestly thought he was just a dreamer and didn’t pay enough attention to what he told me…I wish he were alive today to apologize and pay better attention.

Shortly after the turn of the century some of the earliest TMS wells were drilled on clients’ properties.  This certainly caused a bit more interest on my part, but, again, I just never focused. Accountants’ hear dreamers all the time and become somewhat callous to it, I suppose.  Realities too often hit dreamers in the mouth before they get going good.

At any rate, I finally began to focus when the BOE well was drilled and my father took me as close to the site as we could legally get…a family cemetery in Section 15…the BOE was nearby on Section 16.  Just for perspective, the road access to the BOE enters Wall Street Road in Amite County across the road from property I own.

By the time the Anderson 17H-1 and Anderson 18H-1 units were drilled in 2012, I was fully attuned to what was happening and have been perhaps a bit too obsessed with keeping up with things since.

My crystal ball remains broken and I don’t know what will be the fate of the TMS, but there is no doubt that as it stands now, it will be one of the more interesting chapters in my life-long side-by-side oil and gas exploration experiences.

I’m hoping both I and the TMS enjoy a long and fruitful relationship.

We shall see!

What do you think about it?