A Call from John Royall

I got a call today from John Royall, President and CEO of Gulf Publishing, the company that owns World Oil magazine.

John told me that I “need to get my facts straight”. He claims that he did not cancel my November column as I was told. Rather, he said, he, Editor Perry Fischer, and Publisher Ron Higgins agreed three weeks ago that I would write no more shale articles. He also claims that there was no pressure from Petrohawk.

I offered to post his comments on my blog, and now I have.

I have never been an employee of World Oil, and have never spoken to John Royall before today. I find it wholly inconsistent with my three-year history with Perry Fischer that he would keep a decision on what I should or should not write from me. My work relationship with the magazine has been contingent from the beginning on my right to choose content. When the magazine broke its commitment to our agreement, I decided not to write for it anymore.

Another bit of interesting information: when Houston Chronicle energy reporter Tom Fowler asked Petrohawk’s Investor Relations VP Joan Dunlap about the alleged pressure from her company she said:

“It is doubtful that his termination was a direct result of comments made by Petrohawk. We suspect it was more likely a result of Berman’s history of inconsistent data gathering and poorly supported opinions.”

If there had been no pressure, why wouldn’t she just say that?

I leave it to my readers to decipher the truth.


  • I knew something was very wrong when I read that bizarre Tudor Pickering piece. The T&P piece was very unprofessional, and written in a way that sends up some serious red flags.

  • Wow, we have something in common. I sent an email to John Royall yesterday that read as follows.

    Cowardly move, Mr. Royall, to remove Mr. Berman’s column from the November isssue of World Oil.

    With leadership like that, Gulf Publishing is in the best of hands.

    So, what do we have in common? John Royall called me this morning to explain his position.

    Must be feeling some heat.

  • Having worked with a lot of landowners over the years in my geo-appraisal job, if these wells are so economic, why have the royalty owners seen their checks literally collapse? Yep, I suppose you could “bend the curve” on the declines but in reality, i see a lot of them that are simply expotential declines and at some point the checks go to zero and come back stronger, indicating the well was refracced…12 -24 months and you are already fracking again? Also, there is often communication between wells suggested by the nature of the declines. Well 1 comes in at X and Well 2 calculates X-10% and Well 3 is X-20%, etc. They must be communicating and the pressures and volumes rapidly depleted nearby.

  • sir incompetent mcbonus

    I did a brief search and against a Mr Royall is the following:

    LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 15273 / March 4, 1997

    No. 1:97CV00435 (SS) (D.D.C.) (filed March 4, 1997)

    On March 4, 1997, the Commission filed a complaint in the
    United States District Court for the District of Columbia against
    John Thomas Royall, formerly the Chairman of the Board and Chief
    Executive Officer of Octagon, Inc. In its Complaint, the
    Commission alleged that Royall violated Section 10(b) of the
    Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Exchange
    Act Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-2 by making materially false and
    misleading public disclosures on behalf of Octagon. More
    specifically, the Complaint alleged that Royall failed to make
    timely and accurate disclosures about material related-party
    transactions between Octagon and PRK Group, Inc., a company of
    which Royall’s wife was a one-third owner, and that he made
    materially false and misleading disclosures about a major
    contract between Octagon and James Mackenzie International
    Trading PLC. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the
    complaint, Royall consented to the entry of a final judgment
    imposing a $35,000 civil penalty against him.

    In a related matter, the Commission issued an administrative
    order pursuant to Section 21C of the Exchange Act against Royall,
    finding that he committed or caused violations of Exchange Act
    Section 10(b) and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-2 and
    ordering him to cease and desist from committing or causing any
    violation or future violation of these provisions. Without
    admitting or denying the matters set forth in the Commission’s
    order, Royall consented to its entry.

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