Back to Publications

AAPL Form 610-1977 Model Form Operating Agreement

Marvin L. Wigley, Proceedings of 24th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1978)

The petroleum industry uses many tools in its effort to supply the hydrocarbons our society needs and demands every day. We all recognize the immense contribution the various technical disciplines make toward this effort. The tools and techniques employed are publicized and discussed in meetings and seminars. Industry publications, press releases and industry advertising emphasize the importance of these items to the progress and well-being of our nation. As a Landman, I applaud these accomplishments; however, I would remind my technically-oriented associates that, as wonderful as this technical expertise may be, it will be to no avail unless a trade can be made to permit the testing of the prospect on an equitable basis. More often than not, the Operating Agreement is the vehicle used to accomplish this desired agreement. I would classify the Operating Agreement as an essential tool of our industry. It is as important to the success of our objectives as the contributions of the various technical disciplines. It has performed its function quietly and without fanfare for many years.

The Operating Agreement is not only an important and widely used tool, but is also a unique instrument. I know of no other agreement in use in the petroleum industry, or any other industry for that matter, that can be compared to the Operating Agreement from the standpoint of [694] frequenc