I met Dwight Cassell 38 years ago. He asked me to operate wells for his company down in South Texas; a complex water flood in some really tight Olmos stuff in Frio County. I fixed the injection wells and bumped the production up; they sold it. He went to work for another company and I operated for them too, some awesome Austin Chalk wells in Dimmit County. I was plugging one of those Dimmit County wells once when it blew out, hard. We stabbed a TIW valve on that well and kept it from making a mess in Soldier Slough. I busted a finger doing it. Dwight eventually went out on his own generating prospects.

He was a very good structural geologist having worked for Exxon down on the King Ranch for years where he helped develop Seeligson, Borregos and Sarita Fields. He taught me a lot about fault displacements and sealing mechanisms but his real gift to me was his insights into depositional environments and how, and why, things occurred before hydrocarbons wandered into traps. Once I fully understood that I became a much better structural geologist myself.


He was meticulous and in some infill work we did together we would map things on a 1:20o scale. His hand contoured maps were beautiful, his printing like it came out of a computer. He took pride in his work.


We sat close to 65 wells together over the years, Dwight and I did; from Duval and Jim Wells Counties all the way up in Bastrop County chasing serpentine plugs. We stayed up long nights waiting on logs to get on the bank, shot thousands of side wall cores, slept in ratty trailers, cockroach motels and ate lots of chicken fried streaks. We were both philosophical and our conversations often deep. He would never miss sitting a well on one of his prospects and would drive to far away locations at odd hours in the morning, in the freezing rain or sleet and would sleep in his car if he had to it. Whatever it took. The last well we sat together was two years ago and he was 87 years old. He was an easy going, gentle soul who never got too excited about things, at the same time tough and never complained. I respected him and I loved him, dearly.

Open hole induction and porosity logs such as the one above are an insight into the mysteries of the subsurface. They all help solve the puzzle and therefore they all take their rightful place in history, in well files, field files and log libraries across Texas where they are preserved with great care. On the header page of each log, at the bottom, the logging company will always record who was there to witness its recording, who sat in the truck to observe and make the big boy decisions. I am proud to have my name along side Dwight Cassell's name on many.


Of the few people I still operate for he was the most deserving of good things in his late life. He understood well economics and how hard it was to operate tight to the pocketbook and make money. He and his wife, Linda, brought gifts to me every Christmas and were always, always grateful. Linda has not missed sending me a Valentines Day card in over 30 years. I told Dwight often that it was an honor for me to operate his interests, that he'd been in the oil business his entire life and that it was my duty to him, and to my industry, to look out after him and his family the best I could. He'd put in his time and he was due.


He died a couple of weeks ago from COVID. He was 89. My heart aches. Everything about Dwight always reminded me of the old oilfield, one with honor in it, one full of hard work and dedication.