APRIL 5, 2005 - Posted at 3:55 p.m. CST
SMACKOVER, AR - Arkansas' oil producing companies met at Smackover last night for a public forum to discuss how to increase production among independent oil drillers. U.S. Congressman Mike Ross, who is a member of the House's Energy and Commerce Committee, acted as a mediator for the meeting.
Several oil producers said that drilling areas needed to expand to include more wells if production was going to increase. Ross said that he was committed to changes that would reduce Arkansas' growing dependence on foreign oil suppliers. Ross said Arkansas depends on foreign suppliers for nearly 60 percent of its oil.
Ross said he would take concerns from the area's oil producers into consideration when he returns to Washington. He said his goal was to see what southern Arkansas oil producers needed in order to provide higher oil yields and generate investor support.