News

Agency News Items - 2022

December

  • Christian: Oil and Gas Industry Tax Revenue Generates Billions for Rainy Day Fund and State Highway Fund

    December 01, 2022

    AUSTIN – Yesterday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the transfer of $3.64 billion to the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) and $3.64 billion the State Highway Fund (SHF).

    “The transfer $7.3 billion of oil and gas industry tax revenue is further concrete proof that the oil and gas industry is invaluable to the State of Texas. Revenue from the oil and gas industry is what’s in the Rainy Day Fund, accounts for billions to the State Highway Fund, and contributes to state funds that pay for schools, universities, and first responders,” RRC Chairman Wayne Christian said.

    Following approval of a constitutional amendment by Texas voters in 2014, 75 percent of oil and natural gas production tax revenue that exceeds the amount collected in 1987 is divided evenly and transferred to the Rainy Day Fund and the SHF.

    “Since 2007, the Texas oil and gas industry has paid nearly $179 billion, or an average of almost $12 billion per year, to royalty owners, the state of Texas, and local governments. This is all put at risk by never-ending attacks by President Biden to kill the oil and gas industry to appease radical environmentalists and foreign governments. Repeated attempts by Democrats to hurt the Texas Energy Miracle is woke energy policy at its worst,” Christian continued.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here .

November

  • Railroad Commission Sends Inspectors to Reeves County Following 5.4 Magnitude Earthquake

    Agency to Take Any Action as Needed for Disposal Wells in Area
    November 17, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission deployed inspectors to Reeves County in response to a 5.4 magnitude earthquake near the border with Culberson County.

    The agency is monitoring seismic data from the United States Geological Survey, the TexNET Seismic Monitoring Program and private operator monitoring stations and will take any actions necessary to protect public safety and the environment.

    RRC inspectors are examining disposal activity at injection wells in the area, and staff is also reviewing permit requirements and operators’ seismic response plans in the Northern Culberson-Reeves Seismic Response Area (SRA).

    The SRA was created to reduce the intensity and frequency of earthquakes in the area and includes an Operator Led Response Plan (OLRP) with the objective “to reduce the occurrence of high-magnitude seismicity such that recurrence of 3.5 magnitude events is decreasing by December 31st, 2023.”

    Based on the reviews and meetings with operators, action will be taken on steps outlined in the OLRP. Actions outlined in the plan include, but are not limited to, expanding SRA boundaries and further reducing injection volumes.   

    The OLRP requires all deep disposal wells within a 9 km boundary in the SRA to shut-in for 24 months if a magnitude 4.5 or greater earthquake occurs within the boundary.  There are no active deep disposal wells within the 9 km boundary. Reduction of injection volume from shallow disposal wells has occurred based on the schedule contained in the OLRP.

    The potential lag time between changes in injection rates and changes in seismicity varies; historical activity indicates a potential lag time of 12-18 months.

    RRC staff will continue its work and oversight toward reducing earthquakes in that region to keep residents and the environment safe.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for August 2022

    November 08, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for August 2022 came from 160,625 oil wells and 87,519 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from September 2021 to August 2022 total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 11.1 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (August 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume

    Average Daily
    Production

    Crude Oil

    111,170,582 bbls (barrels)

    3,586,148 bbls

    Natural Gas  

    856,297,283 mcf (thousand cubic feet)  

    27,622,493 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (August 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated
    Reported Total
    Volume

    Updated
    Average Daily
    Production

    Preliminary
    Reported Total
    Volume

    Preliminary
    Average Daily
    Production

    Crude Oil

    127,698,569 bbls  

    4,119,309 bbls

    111,620,063 bbls   

    3,600,647 bbls

    Natural Gas  

    939,410,656 mcf

    30,303,570 mcf  

    822,692,289 mcf

    26,538,461 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (August 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    17,336,401

    2.

    Martin

    12,719,173

    3.

    Howard

    8,513,667

    4.

    Karnes

    7,370,794

    5.

    Upton

    6,913,557

    6.

    Loving

    6,320,730

    7.

    Reeves

    4,347,590

    8.

    Glasscock

    4,069,239

    9.

    Andrews

    3,651,948

    10.

    Reagan

    3,457,883

     

    TABLE 4 (August 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    82,547,940

    2.

    Webb

    60,154,236

    3.

    Midland

    59,828,130

    4.

    Panola

    57,810,672

    5.

    Loving

    43,509,019

    6.

    Culberson

    34,598,634

    7.

    Martin

    33,989,936

    8.

    Upton

    30,099,886

    9.

    Harrison

    27,539,884

    10.

    Tarrant

    26,467,078

     

    TABLE 5 (August 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,971,971

    2.

    Loving

    4,338,841

    3.

    Culberson

    2,485,853

    4.

    Karnes

    1,096,505

    5.

    DeWitt

    1,055,505

    6.

    Dimmit

    744,403

    7.

    Webb

    665,908

    8.

    Ward

    402,272

    9.

    McMullen

    337,604

    10.

    Live Oak

    318,850

  • Christian: Keystone XL Pipeline Could Help with Diesel Fuel Shortage

    November 07, 2022

    AUSTIN – The price of diesel fuel for November delivery has increased by 33 percent and reserves of diesel fuel have fallen to its lowest level since 1951. Diesel fuel is used to operate trains, large trucks, and cargo ships for the transportation of raw materials and manufactured goods. Undesirable public policy decisions by the Biden Administration have contributed to the shortage of diesel fuel that has increased its price.

    “It seems like the only use the Biden Administration has for fossil fuels is to manufacture shortages and crises that could have been avoided,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “But for the Biden Administration throwing thousands of Americans out of work by cancelling the Keystone Pipeline on Day 1 of his administration, we might have been able to avoid the shortage of diesel fuel, higher prices and damage to our economy.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for October 2022

    November 07, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 851 original drilling permits in October 2022 compared to 768 in October 2021. The October 2022 total includes 735 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 98 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in October 2022 is 191 oil, 122 gas, 501 oil or gas, 25 injection and 12 other permits.

    In October 2022, Commission staff processed 977 oil, 181 gas and 317 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 597 oil, 95 gas and 341 injection completions in October 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 11,442 compared to 7,980 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 OCTOBER 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL
    NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL
    COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS
    COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    123

    76

    17

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    48

    55

    25

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    19

    9

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    24

    1

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    6

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    38

    9

    21

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    19

    14

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    73

    57

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    313

    517

    64

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    17

    18

    1

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    38

    19

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    17

    0

    4

    TOTAL

    735

    778

    151

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $688,000 in Penalties

    November 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $688,162.92 in fines involving 262 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    One docket involved $13,650 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $37,212.92 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $637,300 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

October

  • RRC Receives National Award for Work on Abandoned 100-Plus-Year-Old East Texas Mine

    October 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission’s Abandoned Mine Land Program earned national recognition last week for work addressing an abandoned lignite mine in East Texas last year.

    This award extended the Commission’s track record after receiving three national awards last fiscal year for injection well permitting using artificial intelligence, drone inspections and the State Managed Well Plugging Program.

    The U.S Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement presented the RRC with its Small Project Award during the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs conference in Grand Junction, Colo.

    The $380,000 project, which was less than a half mile south of the historic courthouse in Center, Texas, addressed voids left by a hand-dug mine dating back to the 19th century.

    Among the challenges of the project under the properties of two homes included a 20-foot-deep sinkhole that opened up in one of the backyards and damaged part of a fence. Extensive geotechnical work was conducted to locate voids, which were filled with cement.

    Following the work underground, the fence and landscapes were repaired, as well. The project was completed in July 2021.

    “We are very honored to receive this national award from our federal counterparts,” said Brent Elliott, RRC’s Director of the SMRD. “Community safety is our number one priority. I’m very proud of the work our Abandoned Mine Land Program does to protect public safety. Their exemplary efforts are recognized nationwide. Time and time, the RRC team delivered the results expected by Texans.”

    filling with grout clean yard after work is complete
    An abandoned lignite mine was filled in by the RRC in Center in East Texas in 2021.

  • RRC First in Nation to Utilize Federal Funds to Plug Even More Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

    October 19, 2022

    AUSTIN – Texas became the first state in the nation to begin plugging abandoned oil and gas wells using federal grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    Plugging work began last week on an abandoned oil and gas well in Refugio County in South Texas. The RRC anticipates the initial grant will be used to plug approximately 800 abandoned wells. These would be in addition to 1,000 wells the agency anticipates will be plugged this year by the successful State Managed Plugging Program (SMP), using industry fee and fine revenue from the Oil and Gas Regulatory and Cleanup Fund.

    “The RRC’s success and expertise with SMP was instrumental in quickly standing up the plugging project using federal funds,” said Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations. “Our established workplans and contracting will continue to help ensure neighborhoods and the environment across Texas are kept safe through our well plugging work.”



    Well plugging work in Refugio County utilizing federal grants.

    The RRC has a web page on the federal grant funds for abandoned oil and gas well plugging. That page is at the following link: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/environmental-cleanup-programs/federally-funded-well-plugging/

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $730,000 in Penalties

    October 14, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $733,014 in fines involving 163 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Four dockets involved $37,662 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $48,052 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $647,300 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for July 2022

    October 13, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for July 2022 came from 160,276 oil wells and 87,551 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from August 2021 to July 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 11.1 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

     

    TABLE 1 (July 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume

    Average Daily
    Production

    Crude Oil

    104,059,885 bbls (barrels)

    3,356,770 bbls

    Natural Gas  

    834,399,424 mcf (thousand cubic feet) 

    26,916,110 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (July 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported  
    Total Volume

    Updated Average 
    Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported 
    Total Volume

    Preliminary Average
    Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    125,804,544 bbls

    4,058,211 bbls

    109,114,379 bbls

    3,519,819 bbls

    Natural Gas

    934,696,063 mcf

    30,151,486 mcf

    815,444,335 mcf

    26,304,656 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (July 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    15,805,046

    2.

    Martin

    12,081,627

    3.

    Howard

    7,864,424

    4.

    Karnes

    7,543,054

    5.

    Loving

    5,816,559

    6.

    Upton

    5,234,362

    7.

    Reeves

    4,258,104

    8.

    Glasscock

    3,846,654

    9.

    Reagan

    3,359,644

    10.

    Andrews

    3,027,149

     

    TABLE 4 (July 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    77,381,785

    2.

    Webb

    66,029,629

    3.

    Panola

    59,751,012

    4.

    Midland

    54,936,650

    5.

    Loving

    39,280,931

    6.

    Martin

    32,976,344

    7.

    Culberson

    32,804,115

    8.

    Harrison

    25,546,572

    9.

    Tarrant

    24,925,346

    10.

    Reagan

    24,435,730

     

    TABLE 5 (July 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,510,485

    2.

    Loving

    3,837,343

    3.

    Culberson

    2,324,391

    4.

    Karnes

    1,207,734

    5.

    DeWitt

    1,130,865

    6.

    Webb

    803,777

    7.

    Dimmit

    760,276

    8.

    Live Oak

    394,454

    9.

    La Salle

    293,869

    10.

    Ward

    287,879

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for September 2022

    October 10, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 984 original drilling permits in September 2022 compared to 801 in September 2021. The September 2022 total includes 868 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 89 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in September 2022 is 244 oil, 122 gas, 576 oil or gas, 34 injection and eight other permits.

    In September 2022, Commission staff processed 923 oil, 190 gas and 465 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 581 oil, 158 gas and 265 injection completions in September 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 10,268 compared to 7,016 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 SEPTEMBER 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL
    NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL
    COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS
    COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    123

    70

    21

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    43

    29

    21

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    24

    8

    1

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    25

    2

    8

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    7

    2

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    47

    4

    19

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    18

    7

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    52

    59

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    446

    541

    80

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    19

    40

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    43

    8

    4

    (10) PANHANDLE

    21

    6

    12

    TOTAL

    868

    776

    167

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Completes Successful Year Exceeding Goals to Protect Texas, Maximize Resources

    October 06, 2022

    AUSTIN – With Fiscal Year 2022 in the books, the Railroad Commission continued its track record of surpassing critical goals that help protect public safety and the environment while also helping the state maximize the use of its natural resources.

    The RRC – which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry; critical natural gas infrastructure; intrastate pipelines; the alternative fuels LNG, CNG and LPG; and surface mining of coal and uranium – is held to a high standard by the Texas Legislature through annual performance goals.

    From plugging abandoned oil and gas wells to conducting inspections and facilitating an increase in drilling permits, RRC’s staff in Austin and district offices across the state exceeded important goals to protect communities – all during a year in which international conflict amplified the importance of the state’s energy production.

    “RRC staff’s strong performance helped keep Texans’ safe, while at the same time ensuring the vital oil and gas industry continued to support national and international energy demand and boosted the Texas economy,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “We continue to leverage cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence and drones to improve efficiency for staff and operators, and we will use our experience to extend our success through the next year.”

    Legislative goals the RRC exceeded in FY 22 include:

    Category Legislative Target Achieved

    Number of orphaned wells plugged with the use of state-managed funds

    1,000

    1,068

    Number of abandoned pollution sites investigated, assessed or cleaned up with the use of state-managed funds

    200

    245

    Number of oil and gas well and facility inspections performed

    345,000

    359,278

    Number pipeline specialized program evaluations performed

    1,600

    2,153

    Number of coal mining inspections performed

    400

    405

    Average number of LPG/CNG/LNG safety inspections per inspector

    1,200

    1,270

    Number of drilling permit applications processed

    12,300

    13,551


    RRC staff is already hard at work in Fiscal Year 2023. The agency’s new Critical Infrastructure Division will conduct first-of-its kind weatherization inspections, and the Oil and Gas Division will plug even more wells using federal grants.

  • Texas Energy Leader: Americans Don’t Need OPEC+; They Need U.S. Oil & Gas

    October 05, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and Russia (OPEC+) to cut crude oil output by two million barrels per day. With U.S. energy costs up more than 20% and gasoline prices rising again to almost $4 a gallon, Chairman Christian urges President Biden to unleash domestic oil and natural gas production to lower prices for consumers.

    “Winter is coming: the U.S. and our European allies need more U.S. oil and gas today—not after the midterm election,” said Chairman Christian. “OPEC+ and Putin aren’t the answer to our energy security. Harnessing the Permian Basin is. We achieved energy independence under former President Trump in 2019 by increasing U.S. production, and we can do it again.”

    “Biden’s approval rating remains low because the American people are increasingly sick of his expensive, dangerous policies,” continued Christian. “His energy agenda is a disaster, from pleading for more production from OPEC+ to draining the strategic petroleum reserve and subsidizing unreliable wind and solar projects with billions of our tax dollars. The president has unnecessarily put the U.S. at a severe geopolitical disadvantage just for the sake of virtue signaling that he is progressive on climate change.”

September

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $420,000 in Penalties

    September 23, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $424,746 in fines involving 140 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Four dockets involved $69,846 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $36,750 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $318,150 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for June 2022

    September 13, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for June 2022 came from 163,014 oil wells and 87,497 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from July 2021 to June 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 11.0 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (June 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume

    Average Daily
    Production

    Crude Oil

    107,080,369 bbls (barrels)

    3,569,346 bbls

    Natural Gas

    827,921,487 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,597,383 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (June 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated
    Reported
    Total Volume

    Updated
    Average
    Daily Production 

    Preliminary
    Reported
    Total Volume

    Preliminary
    Average
    Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    120,209,926 bbls 

    4,006,998 bbls

    107,174,580 bbls 

    3,572,486 bbls

    Natural Gas 

    889,128,141 mcf 

    29,637,605 mcf

    791,989,055 mcf 

    26,399,635 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (June 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties
    Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    16,441,426

    2.

    Martin

    12,401,800

    3.

    Howard

    8,404,015

    4.

    Karnes

    7,790,182

    5.

    Upton

    6,198,831

    6.

    Loving

    5,593,870

    7.

    Reeves

    4,800,980

    8.

    Glasscock 

    3,690,221

    9.

    Andrews

    3,528,520

    10.

    Reagan

    3,312,811

     

    TABLE 4 (June 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead)
    Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    83,426,195

    2.

    Panola

    61,619,051

    3.

    Webb

    58,119,945

    4.

    Midland

    55,736,820

    5.

    Loving

    36,828,361

    6.

    Martin

    32,828,753

    7.

    Culberson 

    31,566,091

    8.

    Upton

    27,768,121

    9.

    Karnes

    25,977,314

    10.

    Harrison

    25,222,823

     

    TABLE 5 (June 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties
    Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    6,072,535

    2.

    Loving

    3,596,120

    3.

    Culberson 

    2,226,876

    4.

    Karnes

    1,469,376

    5.

    DeWitt

    1,348,085

    6.

    Dimmit

    747,029

    7.

    Webb

    746,034

    8.

    Live Oak

    580,416

    9.

    Ward

    329,762

    10.

    La Salle

    301,616

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for August 2022

    September 09, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 867 original drilling permits in August 2022 compared to 687 in August 2021. The August 2022 total includes 788 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 60 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in August 2022 is 194 oil, 88 gas, 556 oil or gas, 18 injection and 11 other permits.

    In August 2022, Commission staff processed 834 oil, 176 gas and 520 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 649 oil, 109 gas and 291 injection completions in August 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 8,782 compared to 6,108 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 AUGUST 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    108

    43

    21

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    52

    67

    14

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    20

    8

    3

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    21

    1

    9

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    4

    3

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    22

    2

    0

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    23

    6

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    42

    111

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    429

    420

    98

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    24

    16

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    26

    25

    0

    (10) PANHANDLE

    17

    6

    1

    TOTAL

    788

    708

    148

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Oil and Gas Regulatory Chairman Commends Industry’s Contribution to Texas

    September 02, 2022

    AUSTIN – Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22) state revenues highlighting that the oil and gas industry paid record-breaking taxes to the state. The oil production tax generated $6.36 billion up 84% from FY 2021, while the natural gas production tax generated $4.47 billion up 185% from last year. Following the report, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian said the following:

    “The oil and gas industry paid around $11 billion in production taxes alone last year – not including its strong sales tax contributions – directly benefiting Texans and our livelihoods, while wind and solar cost about $4 billion a year to state ratepayers,” said Chairman Christian. “Texas is blessed with a God-given abundance of oil and gas that reliably powers the world while also providing numerous monetary benefits to hardworking Texans. I will fight President Biden and his radical environmentalists who want to destroy the Texas economy and continue to support cheap, plentiful and reliable energy which benefits all Texans.”

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

August

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $1.5 Million in Penalties

    August 31, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed nearly $1.55 million in fines involving 491 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Forty-six dockets involved $322,988 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $115,392 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $1.107 million for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • RRC’s Commissioners Approve Final Rule to Weatherize Natural Gas Supply for Emergencies

    August 30, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas commissioners today adopted the state’s first weatherization rule for natural gas facilities to protect gas flow to power generators and ensure Texans have electricity during weather emergencies.

    The new Weather Emergency Preparedness Standards rule (Statewide Rule 3.66) implements provisions in Senate Bill 3, which was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Abbott in 2021 following the Winter Storm Uri.

    The new rule requires critical gas facilities on the state’s Electricity Supply Chain Map to weatherize, based on facility-specific factors, to ensure sustained operation during a weather emergency; correct known issues that caused weather-related forced stoppages occurred before Dec. 1, 2022; and contact the RRC if they sustain a weather-related forced stoppage during a weather emergency.

    Types of critical facilities include natural gas wells and oil leases that contain natural gas wells, saltwater disposal wells, gas processing plants, all intrastate underground natural gas facilities, and gas pipelines that directly serve electricity generation on the electricity supply chain map.

    The RRC’s Critical Infrastructure Division inspectors based in regional offices across the state will begin inspections December 1. Inspections will begin by prioritizing wells and other natural gas infrastructure that produce, store, process, or transport large volumes of natural gas. The RRC will further prioritize inspections in descending order in accordance with a facility’s production volume or storage, processing, or transportation capacity.

    “These new rules ensure our state’s natural gas supply chain is prepared for extreme heat and freezing cold,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “These rules will ensure that the natural gas facilities Texans rely on for reliable energy are operational when we need it most,” continued Christian. “However, as Texas adds 1,000 new residents a day, the long-term solution to meeting our state’s energy needs must include building more reliable and affordable natural gas-fired electric generation. Our current facilities are prepared for the next weather emergency, but we must make sure there are enough of them to meet the energy demands of our growing state.”

    “The adoption of Statewide Rule 3.66 today represents the culmination of countless hours of work by agency staff, industry leaders, and stakeholder groups,” said RRC Commissioner Christi Craddick. “This rule provides regulatory certainty to the natural gas industry and peace of mind to Texans who rely on this important natural resource. I am especially grateful to agency staff for their tireless efforts on this important accomplishment.” 

    “The natural gas supply chain is comprised of many individual pieces, each with their own unique challenges and vulnerabilities in the face of extreme weather,” said RRC Commissioner Jim Wright. “Today’s rule is focused on preparation, planning, and communication and requires those critical facilities on the Electricity Supply Chain Map to review their operations, identify potential vulnerabilities, and have plans and procedures in place to fortify assets and maintain operations during extreme weather.”  

    Fines for administrative violations could reach up to $1 million.  Operators who intentionally disregard the weatherization rule will not get away with paying a low penalty. The penalty structure in the rule places a stiff enforcement action for those who do not properly prepare their facilities for weather emergencies.

    Statewide Rule 3.66 requires facilities representing a large portion of daily natural gas supply in Texas to be prepared to operate during weather emergencies. The final rule adopted today took into account public comments on the proposed rule; the Commission responded to the comments in the preamble.

    The weatherization rule can be found on the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/c5hdc4ga/rule-3-66.pdf.

  • RRC to Plug Approximately 800 Extra Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

    August 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas will soon begin plugging more wells to continue its strong track record of plugging abandoned oil and gas wells in Texas. The well plugging program is a key component of the RRC’s mission to protect public safety and the environment across the state.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the state’s application for $25 million dollars of grant funding to plug abandoned oil and gas wells. The funds are part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which specifically dedicates this money to plug abandoned oil and gas wells.

    The RRC anticipates the funds will be used to plug approximately 800 abandoned wells in addition to the wells being plugged by the successful State Managed Plugging Program (SMP).

    The SMP has exceeded performance measures set by the state Legislature for six consecutive fiscal years. In fact, in the current fiscal year, the goal to plug 1,000 wells was exceeded two months ahead of time in June.   

    “The RRC’s well plugging staff around the state puts a lot of hard work to help ensure residents and the environment are kept safe,” said Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations. “We will use our established success with workplans, staff expertise and contracting processes to use the grant funding to plug abandoned wells.”

    The federal grant funds will be utilized to plug wells beginning Sept. 1, 2022.

  • Fighting Back Against ESG Efforts to Destroy the Texas Economy

    August 25, 2022

    AUSTIN – Texas is leading the fight to curb the expansion of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement, a woke investment strategy that places a priority on subjective environmental and social metrics instead of financial metrics that ensure quality returns for investors. It is estimated that ESG has taken 90% of investments off the table for reliable energy over the last five years. 

    Since taking office in 2017, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian has met with dozens of business leaders who have expressed concern that ESG could put an end to the oil and gas industry in Texas. In response, Christian passed an Anti-ESG resolution at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and championed the passage of Texas’ new regulations on ESG last session (Birdwell/King).

    Christian also sent a letter and personally met with BlackRock leaders demanding answers to their ESG practices, their impact on oil and gas and potential legal concerns.

    The Chairman sent a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) regarding concerns of ERS’ proxy votes on net-zero financing proposals, and he sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) vehemently opposing their proposed climate-related disclosure rules for businesses seeking to governmentally standardize ESG investment rules.

    “Your retirement account is just collateral damage to radical environmentalists who are leveraging ESG investment strategies to defund the oil and gas industry,” said Christian. “Texas is where ESG extremists will meet their match. We are sending a clear message to Wall Street: If you boycott Texas oil and gas, we boycott you.”

    This week, Chairman Bryan Hughes of the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs sent investigatory letters to four major Wall Street firms (BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors, the Vanguard Group and Institutional Shareholder Services) to determine whether these firms are using ESG principles that impact state retirement funds.

    Additionally, Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar released his list of financial companies that boycott energy companies and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched the first investigation by a state attorneys general into an ESG ratings company for alleged consumer fraud and unfair trade practices.

    “I’m thrilled to see my conservative colleagues join the defense against ‘woke’ Wall Street bankers,” continued Christian. “Rally the troops: Here in Texas is where we will draw the line against ESG’s detrimental impact on oil and gas.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven Sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Commissioner Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Millions of Historic Oil and Gas Production Records Now Online on Railroad Commission Website

    August 11, 2022

    AUSTIN – In yet another move to enhance transparency and make Railroad Commission documents more widely available to the public, the agency recently completed a project to place all historic oil and gas production records online.

    The Historical Imaged Annual Production Records database includes oil production dating back to 1931 and gas production going back to 1937. More than 1,300 rolls of microfilm containing about 2.2 million images housed in RRC’s Central Records were digitized for the project.

    While RRC Central Records is available for the public to research historic documents using microfilm, the digitized production records can be searched and downloaded anywhere and anytime you have an internet connection, not just when you are available to make a trip to Austin.

    The move to convert historic records into digital formats is part of a broad effort to improve efficiency at the agency and to provide easy access to the vast amount of information held by the RRC, which was founded in 1891.

    Production records, which are the most accessed microfilm in Central Records, are used by researchers, landowners, royalty owners, energy companies, public information requesters and others.

    “We are excited to have our historic production records available on our website now,” said Matthew Herzog, Manager of Central Records. “This is a significant undertaking and a historic moment for the Commission. Not only does it give the public quick and easy access to the information, but it can also save staff time that’s spent researching for public information requests. Requesters can now get historical production information with the click of a mouse if they wish, and our staff can devote time for other tasks.”

    microfilm rolls
    digitized historical microfilm rolls

     Above left, examples of the microfilm rolls that are now digitized. Above right, online image of digitized historical production records.

    Production information from 1993 to present were already available on RRC’s website in the Production Data Query.

    The newly-digitized historical production records, prior to 1993 dating back to the 1930s, can be found by scrolling to the bottom of our Imaged Records Query web page.  It includes a User Guide and a video tutorial to help new users search for historical records.

  • Chairman Christian: Democrats’ $700 Billion Green Energy Boondoggle Hikes Taxes, Kills Jobs, and Makes Energy More Expensive Amid Recession

    August 09, 2022

    AUSTIN – With $4 a gallon gasinflation at 40-year highs, and two straight quarters of economic recession, D.C. Democrats fast-tracked partisan legislation that will stifle the economy, kill jobs, hike taxes, and increase energy costs. Following Senate passage of the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022”,  Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian had this to say:

    “President Biden is slowly achieving his Green New Deal dream of killing cheap, plentiful, and reliable fossil fuels and the Orwellian-named Inflation Reduction Act puts him one step closer,” said Chairman Christian. “This bill spends $369 billion on green energy programs and creates a $6.5 billion natural gas tax. Ultimately, this bill will lead to less investment in oil and gas production, making everything more expensive from the gas pump to the grocery store.”  

    “Only to D.C. Democrats does doubling down on more of the same make sense,” Chairman Christian continued. “Instead of attacking the domestic oil and gas industry, President Biden should unleash it. Instead of raising taxes, regulations, and deficit spending, he should cut them. This bill once again proves, Democrats think they can spend your money more wisely than you can.”

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for May 2022

    August 08, 2022

    AUSTIN –– Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for May 2022 came from 162,387 oil wells and 87,163 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from June 2021 to May 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.9 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1: May 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    109,090,916 BBLS (barrels)

    3,519,062 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    847,979,160 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,354,166 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2: May 2021 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME|

    UPDATED AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION|

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME|

    PRELIMINARY AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    124,393,013 BBLS

    4,012,678 BBLS

    112,719,857 BBLS

    3,636,124 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    914,244,124 mcf

    29,491,746 mcf

    818,825,363 mcf

    26,413,721 mcf

     

    TABLE 3: May 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    17,130,371

    2.

    MARTIN

    12,368,492

    3.

    KARNES

    7,403,168

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,283,702

    5.

    UPTON

    6,656,280

    6.

    LOVING

    5,788,422

    7.

    REEVES

    5,220,442

    8.

    ANDREWS

    3,604,654

    9.

    GLASSCOCK

    3,564,321

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,260,866

     

    TABLE 4: May 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    82,811,586

    2.

    PANOLA

    64,399,983

    3.

    MIDLAND

    56,882,333

    4.

    WEBB

    56,134,614

    5.

    LOVING

    39,495,127

    6.

    CULBERSON

    33,529,200

    7.

    MARTIN

    31,195,636

    8.

    UPTON

    27,978,682

    9.

    TARRANT

    26,488,668

    10.

    HARRISON

    26,397,336

     

    TABLE 5: May 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,904,431

    2.

    LOVING

    3,922,356

    3.

    CULBERSON

    2,444,303

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,104,411

    5.

    KARNES

    841,990

    6.

    DIMMIT

    818,513

    7.

    WEBB

    770,967

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    558,766

    9.

    WARD

    398,270

    10.

    LA SALLE

    299,836

  • RRC Chairman Christian op-ed: Democrats Want to Tax and Spend on Green New Deal Policies in an Inflationary Recession

    August 05, 2022

    By Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian

    President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have revived their progressive “Build Back Better” agenda to continue an almost two yearlong spending spree, paid for with debt and tax hikes on nearly every American. Few ideas are more economically disastrous than debt spending in an inflationary environment and raising taxes during a recession. And Democrats are planning on doing just that.

    The pending partisan proposal spends $370 billion on various pieces of the radical Green New Deal climate agenda, raises taxes by $326 billion, and increases regulations on energy production that will further drive up energy costs across-the-board. But this is just more of the same from Biden’s tenure to date. High taxes, unnecessary regulations, and irresponsible deficit spending is what caused the mess we are in – with $4 a gallon gas, inflation at 40-year highs, and two straight quarters of economic contraction.

    Now, President Biden is doubling down on his reckless over-tax, over-spend, and over-regulate agenda. All this is a recipe to continue increasing inflation, which has already cost the typical American more than $3,000. In Texas, ‘Biden-flation’ is running around 15 percent, costing the average Texas household around $755 a month or more than $9,000 a year.

    Only to D.C. Democrats would doubling down on doing more of the same make sense. Biden’s Build Back Broken agenda has already crushed Americans’ budgets and now they want to kill their jobs too. All of this in spite of the fact that in the president’s own words he admitted his climate agenda wouldn’t even solve the supposed climate crisis.

    Despite the White House’s inability to admit it, the country is in recession and facing a serious energy crisis – the President needs to change course immediately. Instead of imploring Saudi Arabia for oil, he should empower the Permian Basin. Instead of attacking the domestic oil and gas industry, he should unleash it. Instead of raising taxes, regulations, and deficit spending, he should cut them.

    Americans need more hope, opportunity, and cheap energy – not more Washington politics.

  • Oil & Gas Regulatory Chairman Lauds Industry’s Tax Contributions to State Budget, Criticizes ESG Investments and Encourages More Fossil Fuel Energy Generation

    August 03, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian applauds the Texas oil and gas industry following the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ announcement of continuous record-breaking tax revenues from the industry.

    “I hope all Texans are paying attention to the fact that it’s oil and gas — not wind and solar — that are bringing home the ‘bacon,’ providing reliability for our state’s budget, economy and electricity,” said Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian. “As Texans battle the endless summer heat and sweat rising energy costs, it’s important to note that our houses could be cooler and our electric bills could be lower, if Texas were building out more reliable energy generation, like natural gas, and relying less on unreliables, like wind and solar.”

    “Texas’ oil and natural gas industry continues to pay record taxes, reminding Texans why the industry is so vital to our economy,” continued Chairman Christian. “While wind and solar investments have skyrocketed thanks to taxpayer subsidies and the rise of ESG investing, oil and gas investments have seen a 90% drop-off in capital over the last 5 years leading to less build-out of fossil fuel-based electric generation. As our state welcomes 1,000 new Texans every day, we equally need to be building out—not dismantling—the reliable energy infrastructure as well.”

    The Comptroller recently announced the oil and gas industry paid record-breaking taxes to the state.  In July, the oil production tax generated $694 million – up 84% from July 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record. For the same month, the natural gas production tax generated $532 million – up 185% from July 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for July 2022

    August 02, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 901 original drilling permits in July 2022 compared to 779 in July 2021. The July 2022 total includes 782 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 15 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 93 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in July 2022 is 157 oil, 95 gas, 629 oil or gas, 16 injection and four other permits.

    In July 2022, Commission staff processed 606 oil, 124 gas and 583 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 475 oil, 162 gas and 182 injection completions in July 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 7,075 compared to 5,116 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 JULY 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    111

    55

    24

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    57

    75

    20

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    29

    6

    3

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    24

    1

    3

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    5

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    46

    6

    14

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    16

    10

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    47

    34

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    401

    250

    33

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    17

    6

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    20

    18

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    11

    6

    5

    TOTAL

    782

    472

    107

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

July

  • Texas Energy Leader Concerned with Energy Security, Tax and Spend Climate Plan as U.S. Enters Recession

    July 28, 2022

    AUSTIN – Yesterday, news broke that President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats have revived tax and climate-related provisions of their Build Back Better agenda. Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at a yearly rate of 0.9% during the second quarter of 2022, following a decrease of 1.6% in the first quarter. Two straight quarters of negative GDP growth meets the common definition of recession.

    Concerned that large increases in taxes and regulations during a recession could harm American energy security, Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian issued the following statement:

    “High taxes, unnecessary regulations, and irresponsible deficit spending is what caused the mess we are in – with $4 a gallon gas, inflation at 40-year highs, and two straight quarters of economic contraction,” said RRC Chairman Christian. “Now, President Biden wants to hike taxes, regulations, and deficit spending even higher to implement detrimental Green New Deal-style policies across the country. Only to D.C. Democrats would doubling down on doing more of the same make sense. Biden’s Build Back Worse agenda has already crushed hardworking Americans’ budgets and now they want to kill their jobs too. It’s insanity.

    The country is in recession and facing an energy crisis – the President needs to change course immediately. Instead of begging Saudi Arabia for oil, he should empower the Permian Basin.  Instead of attacking the domestic oil and gas industry, he should unleash it. Instead of raising taxes, regulations, and deficit spending, he should cut them. Americans need more hope, opportunity, and energy – not more Washington politics.”

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for April 2022

    July 13, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for April 2022 came from 162,301 oil wells and 79,292 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from May 2021 to April 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.8 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (April 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    107,196,593 bbls (barrels)

    3,573,220 bbls

    Natural Gas

    813,134,206 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,104,474 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (April 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    120,520,150 bbls

    4,017,338 bbls

    110,990,696 bbls

    3,699,690 bbls

    Natural Gas

    898,736,544 mcf

    29,957,885 mcf

    799,163,896 mcf

    26,638,797 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (April 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    16,194,325

    2.

    Martin

    12,823,610

    3.

    Howard

    8,710,172

    4.

    Karnes

    7,395,295

    5.

    Upton

    5,726,838

    6.

    Reeves

    4,896,657

    7.

    Loving

    4,194,723

    8.

    Reagan

    3,364,568

    9.

    Glasscock

    3,192,707

    10.

    Ward

    3,036,702

     

    TABLE 4 (April 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    78,475,584

    2.

    Panola

    58,276,740

    3.

    Webb

    53,994,991

    4.

    Midland

    51,888,275

    5.

    Loving

    32,824,566

    6.

    Martin

    32,470,899

    7.

    Culberson

    32,237,133

    8.

    Reagan

    26,524,164

    9.

    Harrison

    24,239,049

    10.

    Tarrant

    24,031,195

     

    TABLE 5 (April 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,734,255

    2.

    Loving

    3,431,676

    3.

    Culberson

    2,426,473

    4.

    DeWitt

    1,324,362

    5.

    Karnes

    944,714

    6.

    Dimmit

    903,452

    7.

    Webb

    760,167

    8.

    Live Oak

    693,545

    9.

    La Salle

    289,437

    10.

    Mcmullen

    180,724

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for June 2022

    July 07, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 1,146 original drilling permits in June 2022 compared to 739 in June 2021. The June 2022 total includes 1,013 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged wellbores and five for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in June 2022 is 263 oil, 113 gas, 726 oil or gas, 35 injection and nine other permits.

    In June 2022, Commission staff processed 534 oil, 164 gas and 594 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 507 oil, 158 gas and 128 injection completions in June 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 5,804 compared to 4,385 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 JUNE 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    128

    58

    26

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    75

    30

    19

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    22

    5

    1

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    25

    2

    4

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    8

    4

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    42

    13

    36

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    28

    10

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    71

    45

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    523

    213

    29

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    24

    5

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    46

    17

    13

    (10) PANHANDLE

    21

    10

    10

    TOTAL

    1,013

    412

    142

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Texas Energy Leader Pens Letter to Biden’s SEC Opposing Climate Disclosure Rules

    July 06, 2022

    AUSTIN – Today, Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding proposed new rules requiring companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, detailed climate-related data and additional “climate risks.”

    “As I have stated before, radical environmentalists are coming for your retirement account through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing,” said Chairman Christian. “This new ‘woke’ investment strategy places a priority on subjective environmental and social metrics instead of financial metrics that ensure quality returns for investors.”

    “This climate disclosure proposal is a federal overreach that will further cloud energy investments, shutter small businesses, and cement the values of fringe environmental extremists into our society and government,” continued Christian. “As a licensed Investment Advisor Representative, I have grave concerns about the impact this will have on families, retirees and oil and gas businesses, as well as the cost of energy paid by consumers.”

    You can read the letter here.

  • Oil and Gas Regulatory Chairman Highlights Industry’s Tax Contributions to the State of Texas

    July 05, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian applauds the Texas oil and gas industry following the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ announcement of record-breaking tax revenues from the industry.

    “Despite President Biden’s delusional desire to transition away from fossil fuels, Comptroller Hegar’s announcement reinforces the fact that oil and gas literally fuels every facet of our lives from energy to food and beyond,” said Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian. “In addition to paying record-breaking tax revenue which funds our schools, roads, first responders and more, Texas’ oil and gas industry is our economy’s lifeblood supporting roughly one-third of our state’s economy and paying an average salary of $130,000. Oil and gas production is also so much more than simply fueling our energy use and funding our government, it produces about 96% of everyday consumer items including electricity, gasoline, plastics, medicine and countless others.”

    The Comptroller recently announced the oil and gas industry paid record-breaking taxes to the state.  In June, the oil production tax generated $679 million – up 87% from June 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record. For the same month, the natural gas production tax generated $439 million – up 176% from June 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $275,000 in Penalties

    July 01, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $278,796 in fines involving 94 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Two dockets involved $53,606 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $36,490 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $188,700 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

June

  • Texas Oil and Gas Regulatory Chairman Applauds Supreme Court’s Rollback of EPA Clean Air Act Overreach

    June 30, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision (West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) federal overreach with the Clean Air Act.

    “SCOTUS is on a roll and continues to get it right – defending the Constitution, protecting states’ rights and ensuring Americans don’t answer to unelected bureaucrats,” said Chairman Christian. “Today’s decision is a win for good government, American energy producers and for hardworking taxpayers who simply need cheap, plentiful and reliable energy.”

    “Environmentalists would have you choose a world between reliable energy and environmental progress – but that is a false choice,” continued Christian. “Oil, natural gas, and coal have lifted people out of poverty, fed the hungry, warmed the cold, healed the sick, and created a more stable world. In fact, mankind is more prepared and safer from climate change than ever before thanks to fossil fuels. SCOTUS’ action today will ensure that – for now – we still live in a country that thrives on the use and production of reliable fossil fuels.”

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • RRC Proposes Weatherization Rules to Ensure Natural Gas Supply in Weather Emergencies

    June 28, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas commissioners today approved a proposed sweeping weatherization rule to help protect Texans during weather emergencies that could occur any time of the year.

    The proposed rule that was approved today is open for public comment through August 15, 2022, after which staff will review comments before commissioners adopt a final rule, which is expected before the end of the summer.

    The weatherization rule covers critical facilities that are on the state’s Electricity Supply Chain Map at the time of adoption of the rule, and any subsequent iterations of the map. These include natural gas wells and oil leases producing casinghead gas, underground storage facilities, and gas processing plants. Gas pipelines that are on the Electricity Supply Chain Map and directly serve electric generation are also subject to the rule.

    Provisions of the rule include, but are not limited to, the following requirements:

    • Implement weather emergency preparation measures intended to ensure sustained operations during a weather emergency that can put the state’s electricity grid operation at risk.
    • Correct known weather-related forced stoppages that may have occurred prior to Dec. 1, 2022.
    • Contact the RRC if a facility sustains a weather-related forced stoppage during a weather emergency.

    The rule covers a large group of types of facilities and infrastructure across regions of the state with different weather patterns and geography. Operators will be required to weatherize facilities using weatherization methods applicable to the facility based on the type of facility, the facility’s critical components, the facility’s location, and weather data for the facility’s county or counties. The rule includes a table with extreme low and high temps for each county in the state compiled by the state climatologist.

    Common weatherization methods that are utilized throughout the oil and gas industry – from heat tracing devices to thermal insulation and chemical injection systems – are included in the rule for operators to utilize as appropriate for a facility based on locations.

    RRC’s Critical Infrastructure Division inspectors will inspect facilities and enforce all provisions of the rule; and fines for administrative violations could reach up to $1 million per day.

    “These new weatherization rules will further ensure Texans have access to reliable natural gas when they need it most,” Chairman Wayne Christian said. “The proposed weatherization rules represent more than a year’s worth of collaborative efforts between RRC Staff, our sister state agencies, and industry partners who spent countless hours working on this proposal.

    “This is a critical step toward ensuring more production of oil and gas during inclement weather, but with 1,000 people moving to Texas each day, the long-term solution for our state’s energy needs is to invest and build more cheap, reliable natural gas-fired electric generation,” Christian continued. “Now is the time to end all preferential market treatment and taxpayer subsidies for unreliable, intermittent forms of energy and to invest in reliable, resilient forms of electric generation, like fossil fuels, instead.”

    “Today’s proposed rule is a culmination of countless hours of hard work by agency staff, stakeholders, and other regulatory and legislative leaders,” Commissioner Christi Craddick said. “Working to ensure that power generators can access the energy supplies they need during weather emergencies is critical, and I am proud of the steps we have taken so far. We have taken extreme care to consider the needs of all Texans, resulting in a thoughtful proposal that protects the natural gas supply chain. I look forward to receiving feedback and adopting this rule once finalized.”

    “Today’s proposed rule strikes an appropriate balance to ensure facilities are prepared for extreme weather events while providing needed flexibility for operators to ensure compliance with Commission standards,” Commissioner Jim Wright said. “This flexibility component is crucial as we must ensure weatherization requirements do not adversely harm current or future production of our natural resources. I look forward to receiving public input on this proposal and finalizing the critical infrastructure weatherization rule as required under Senate Bill 3 in the coming months.”

    The proposed rule and section to provide comments can be found under Chapter 3 on the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/proposed-rules/.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for March 2022

    June 14, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for March 2022 came from 162,387 oil wells and 87,163 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from April 2021 to March 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.7 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (March 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    110,900,350 bbls (barrels)

    3,577,431 bbls

    Natural Gas

    829,451,543 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    26,756,501 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (March 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    125,288,298 bbls

    4,041,558 bbls

    114,487,044 bbls

    3,693,130 bbls

    Natural Gas

    887,140,698 mcf

    28,617,442 mcf

    474,377,149 mcf

    15,302,489 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (March 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    17,632,320

    2.

    Martin

    13,444,625

    3.

    Karnes

    7,932,926

    4.

    Upton

    7,415,878

    5.

    Howard

    7,134,973

    6.

    Loving

    4,797,117

    7.

    Reeves

    4,745,687

    8.

    Andrews

    3,913,891

    9.

    Reagan

    3,343,959

    10.

    Glasscock

    3,069,870

     

    TABLE 4 (March 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    80,195,628

    2.

    Webb

    65,155,299

    3.

    Midland

    57,321,289

    4.

    Panola

    56,582,522

    5.

    Culberson

    35,597,749

    6.

    Loving

    33,049,206

    7.

    Martin

    31,453,125

    8.

    Upton

    28,004,478

    9.

    Harrison

    25,815,620

    10.

    Tarrant

    24,866,285

     

    TABLE 5 (March 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,917,960

    2.

    Loving

    3,206,883

    3.

    Culberson

    2,779,862

    4.

    DeWitt

    970,707

    5.

    Karnes

    857,621

    6.

    Dimmit

    855,775

    7.

    Webb

    849,422

    8.

    Live Oak

    422,674

    9.

    La Salle

    304,572

    10.

    Ward

    206,327

     

  • New Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan Approved for Fiscal Year 2023

    June 09, 2022

    AUSTIN – In the coming fiscal year beginning in September, the Railroad Commission will continue its strong work to improve transparency and build upon efforts that protect public safety and the environment in its oversight of the oil and gas industry.

    Commissioners on Tuesday approved the Fiscal Year 2023 Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan, which outlines strategic priorities and provides statistical data highlighting the agency’s enforcement efforts, including violations cited by rule.

    Among new information in next year’s plan is an expansion of statistical data to include the previous fiscal year for progress and comparison purposes.

    The plan explains RRC’s inspection processes and enforcement procedures and affirms the agency’s commitment to inspecting every oil and gas facility at least once every five years.

    “Texas’ oil and gas industry has become increasingly more important to maintain economic stability in the nation during global conflicts,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “The RRC is also committed to ensuring any expansion of oil and gas in the state is done responsibly in a manner protective of Texans and the environment, which the Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan helps to ensure.”

    Plugging orphaned wells is a critical component of the RRC’s mission to protect public safety and the environment. The State Managed Plugging Program, which has exceeded legislative goals for five consecutive years, has the goal to plug another 1,000 orphaned wells in fiscal year 2023 using state appropriations funded with revenue from the oil and gas industry. FY 23 will also include an infusion of federal infrastructure funding that should result in the plugging of up to an additional 800 orphaned wells.

    In the next fiscal year, the RRC will deploy knowledge from its strategic analysis of flaring data. The resulting study will evaluate additional measures the agency can take on flaring and clarify any data discrepancies. Findings, including any recommendations for regulatory or statutory changes, will be shared with the Legislature and the public.

    The agency is continuing to update its computing systems, which will result in more information being available online. Also, in the interest of transparency, the agency plans to provide more information via its social media channels demonstrating what oil and gas inspectors do, including how potential violations are cited.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $1 Million in Penalties

    June 08, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,008,396 in fines involving 228 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Thirty-three dockets involved $499,663 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $32,533 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $476,200 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for May 2022

    June 03, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 963 original drilling permits in May 2022 compared to 631 in May 2021. The May 2022 total includes 849 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, nine to re-enter plugged wellbores and 93 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in May 2022 is 221 oil, 76 gas, 601 oil or gas, 53 injection and 12 other permits.

    In May 2022, Commission staff processed 515 oil, 142 gas and 292 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 457 oil, 141 gas and 134 injection completions in May 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 4,574 compared to 3,595 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 MAY 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    101

    51

    25

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    70

    51

    11

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    27

    7

    3

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    16

    0

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    43

    4

    21

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    22

    10

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    33

    28

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    449

    275

    40

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    23

    8

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    46

    14

    12

    (10) PANHANDLE

    14

    3

    10

    TOTAL

    849

    452

    130

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

May

  • It’s Not Sci-Fi: RRC Turns to Artificial Intelligence to Improve Process of Conducting Seismicity Reviews

    May 24, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission has turned to artificial intelligence to optimize the time the agency’s technical analysts spend on seismicity reviews to ensure residents and the environment are protected.

    Seismicity reviews are conducted by the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Department for injection/disposal well permits in areas susceptible to earthquakes and in certain geologic zones. UIC staff programed a machine learning algorithm to help with the large amount of information that needs to be processed and digested.

    Along with some other changes, tasks performed by the machine learning algorithm have enabled UIC to wipe out a backlog of seismic reviews to zero today.

    Like the technical analyst, the AI program weighs many factors related to the number, severity and proximity of earthquakes and uses a decision tree to assign a grade to the review. The higher the grade, the more the permit would be allowed to inject.

    If AI grades the seismic review with low grades, the technical analyst will consult with the agency’s seismologist on whether the permit request should be denied or be allowed a minimal amount of disposal (10,000 barrels per day). The AI process, which has a high accuracy rate, assists the technical analyst, who reviews the data and ultimately makes the final judgment.

    “Over time, since we are accruing more data every day, we will be able to produce more accurate models by feeding the machine learning algorithm more data,” said Sean Avitt, Manager of the UIC Department. “It’s not a replacement for our technical analysts. It’s a tool that not only allows them to do their jobs more quickly, but it helps them make the best possible decision on each seismic review.”


    As the above illustration shows, Python scripts automatically collect GIS mapping of historic seismic events within a permit application’s area of interest, data which is used by the machine learning algorithm.

    By embracing technology, including the automation of certain tasks, the time it takes for injection/disposal well permits went from more than 100 days in November 2018 to about 20 days presently. More importantly, AI also ensures consistency in permitting decisions and how seismic and other factors are considered.

    For more information on seismicity reviews, visit the following RRC webpage: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/applications-and-permits/injection-storage-permits/oil-and-gas-waste-disposal/injection-disposal-permit-procedures/seismicity-review/.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $525,000 in Penalties

    May 20, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $528,079 in fines involving 135 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Ten dockets involved $113,678 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $142,701 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $271,700 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for February 2022

    May 10, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for February 2022 came from 162,109 oil wells and 84,801 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from March 2021 to February 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.6 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

     

    TABLE 1 (February 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    99,073,136 bbls (barrels)

    3,538,326 bbls

    Natural Gas

    718,315,645 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    25,654,130 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (February 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    88,482,678 bbls

    3,160,096 bbls

    82,391,417 bbls

    2,942,551 bbls

    Natural Gas

    668,297,356 mcf

    23,867,763 mcf

    594,736,674 mcf

    21,240,596 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (February 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    14,690,579

    2.

    Martin

    12,674,708

    3.

    Karnes

    7,350,381

    4.

    Howard

    6,805,380

    5.

    Upton

    6,062,601

    6.

    Reeves

    4,882,785

    7.

    Loving

    4,174,173

    8.

    Andrews

    3,369,124

    9.

    Glasscock

    3,293,144

    10.

    Reagan

    2,916,881

     

    TABLE 4 (February 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    70,114,508

    2.

    Panola

    48,978,171

    3.

    Midland

    47,293,496

    4.

    Webb

    46,926,951

    5.

    Martin

    30,437,580

    6.

    Culberson

    28,472,961

    7.

    Loving

    28,125,834

    8.

    Harrison

    24,821,035

    9.

    Upton

    23,084,945

    10.

    Tarrant

    22,515,190

     

    TABLE 5 (February 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,081,720

    2.

    Loving

    2,740,753

    3.

    Culberson

    2,298,028

    4.

    DeWitt

    958,576

    5.

    Dimmit

    872,170

    6.

    Webb

    816,882

    7.

    Karnes

    668,961

    8.

    Live Oak

    379,542

    9.

    La Salle

    200,466

    10.

    Ward

    180,236

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for April 2022

    May 09, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 946 original drilling permits in April 2022 compared to 732 in April 2021. The April 2022 total includes 836 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 92 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in April 2022 is 223 oil, 74 gas, 593 oil or gas, 46 injection, and 10 other permits.

    In April 2022, Commission staff processed 493 oil, 143 gas and 232 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 449 oil, 106 gas, and 98 injection completions in April 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 3,751 compared to 2,924 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 APRIL 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    81

    33

    31

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    67

    37

    15

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    21

    4

    1

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    20

    0

    1

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    6

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    32

    13

    25

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    21

    13

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    86

    56

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    404

    242

    33

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    37

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    44

    10

    1

    (10) PANHANDLE

    17

    2

    16

    TOTAL

    836

    423

    123

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $430,000 in Penalties

    May 06, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $434,280 in fines involving 104 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Seven dockets involved $160,525 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $23,205 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $250,550 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Marshall Mine Wins RRC’s Texas Coal Mining Reclamation Award

    May 05, 2022

    AUSTIN – RRC’s commissioners on Tuesday awarded Caddo Creek Resources’ Marshall Mine with the 2022 Texas Coal Mining Reclamation Award for its work toward returning the area back to its natural state.

    Caddo Creek Resources transformed the East Texas mine from full operation to complete reclamation in less than 18 months. To do this, they moved about 4.5 million cubic yards of material, including 2.5 million cubic yards of spoil and 2 million cubic yards of soil suitable for plant growth and replanted the area.

    Most of the mine (77%) was converted to fish and wildlife habitat, and the rest of the area includes pasture, industrial space and reclamation ponds that provide water to wildlife and future cattle or livestock and sedimentation control for any surface runoff before vegetation is fully establishment.

     
    A reclaimed area at the Marshall Mine with furrows of planted trees.

    “Caddo Creek Resources exemplified responsible ownership and deserved to be commended for what they accomplished,” said RRC Director of Surface Mining and Reclamation Division Brent Elliott. “The mine, while short-lived, served a useful purpose, but now it has been returned to a state as good as or better than before mining started.”

    The mine received its permit in March 2012 and ceased mining in March 2021. Lignite from the 2,400-acre mine was converted to activated carbon and used in a wide variety of filtration and purification products manufactured by the mine’s owner, Cabot Norit Americas.

    Over the life of the mine, 1.12 million tons of lignite were produced with a yearly average of 207,055 tons.

    The mine will continue to be monitored for at least five years to ensure water quality standards are met and vegetation quality and quantity has been demonstrated.

  • Texas’ Chief Oil and Gas Regulator Pens Letter to State Pension Fund Agency Over Anti-Fossil Fuel Investment Vote

    May 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian penned a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) regarding reports of a vote on a shareholder resolution to divest investment from fossil fuels.

    “The reports that a Texas state agency has – accidentally or intentionally – allowed woke activists to harm the investment and retirement portfolios of our constituents as collateral damage in their war against fossil fuels are extremely troubling,” said Christian. “The Texas Legislature was clear with the passage of SB 13 last session that this is not the way Texas does business. ESG investing is harmful to our state economy, the reliability of our grid, and energy independence efforts that bolster national security. It has no place in Texas.”

    You can read the letter here.

  • RRC Proposes Rule Changes to Help Implement Oversight of Injection and Storage of Carbon Dioxide

    Agency Working on Application to Gain Primacy from EPA
    May 03, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission today took a major step forward in its application process to gain primacy from the EPA for Class VI injection wells. The injection wells are used for underground storage of carbon dioxide from energy production, power generation or industrial sources.

    RRC’s commissioners approved the publishing of proposed amendments to the agency’s carbon dioxide rules for public comment. The proposed changes and other information will be sent to EPA as part of a pre-application for primacy and allow EPA a chance to start its review. If ultimately approved by the EPA, primacy would mean that operators would only need to apply with the RRC for Class VI permits rather than both agencies.

    The proposed amendments would modify various sections of RRC rules, including those describing the applicability of the rules, application requirements, notice and hearing requirements, permit standards and reporting, recordkeeping and more.

    “Clearly, there is concern today about levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its impact on the environment,” said Leslie Savage, RRC’s Chief Geologist. “Class VI injection wells have the potential to be part of the solution by trapping the CO2 in appropriate geologic formations. We hope our program will be able to streamline the process and allow for the timely issuing of Class VI permits.”

    Primacy allows the EPA to delegate its authority to states, provided they meet the federal government’s minimum standards.

    To see the proposed changes to RRC’s Chapter 5 rules on carbon dioxide injection and to comment, visit the following webpage: https://rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/proposed-rules/.

April

  • Texas Adopts First-Ever Electricity Supply Chain Map

    Map Provides Layout for Quick Weather Emergency Response to Protect Lives
    April 29, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Texas Electricity Supply Chain Security and Mapping Committee today adopted an Electricity Supply Chain Map of critical infrastructure – the first of its kind in the state – for use during disaster and emergency preparedness and response.

    “This map will save lives in Texas,” said Thomas Gleeson, Public Utility Commission of Texas Executive Director and chairman of the mapping committee. “Our agencies have collected an enormous amount of critical information in one place, available to state emergency officials with a click of a mouse. That means better coordinated preparedness before a disaster and faster response times in an emergency, to protect the Texas grid.”    

    “This map is an important tool to protect all Texans during weather emergencies.,” said Wei Wang, Railroad Commission of Texas Executive Director and vice chair of the committee. “It is also a great example of how the agencies have been collaborating.  Our teams worked shoulder to shoulder together and exchanged a very large amount of data and information. All the layers of facilities on the map will help the state’s planning and response to fix problems real-time and prioritize electricity service during emergencies.”

    The map identifies critical infrastructure facilities that make up the state’s electricity supply chain, including electric generation plants and the natural gas facilities that supply fuel to power the plants. State emergency management officials will use the map during weather emergencies and disasters to pinpoint the location of critical electric and natural gas facilities and emergency contact information for those facilities.

    The current map has more than 65,000 facilities including electricity generation plants powered by natural gas, electrical substations, natural gas processing plants, underground gas storage facilities, oil and gas well leases, saltwater disposal wells, as well as more than 21,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines and approximately 60,000 miles of power transmission lines.

    In addition to infrastructure layers, the Electricity Supply Chain map includes elements such as Texas Division of Emergency Management regions, emergency contact information for facilities, as well as visualization of weather watches and warnings as they occur in any part of the state. The map is a living document and will be updated twice a year, or more often if necessary.

    Creation of the map was required under Senate Bill 3 passed by the 87th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The legislation prohibits public release of the map and corresponding data to protect the safety and integrity of the electricity supply chain.

    The Mapping Committee is comprised of the Public Utility Commission, the Railroad Commission, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

    The committee will hold a public meeting on Tuesday May 31, which will be livestreamed for the public at https://www.puc.texas.gov/agency/Broadcasts.aspx.

  • RRC Earns National Mine Award for Drone Training Program

    April 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Division (SMRD) has earned national recognition for excellence for its drone training program – training that highlights safety and operational efficiency.

    The Interstate Mining Compact Commission recently presented the RRC with its National Mine Safety and Health Training Award in the State Category for Coal Surface Mining during its annual meeting. The IMCC, which comprises 26 states, noted that the RRC promotes “a safe work place within the Lone Star State’s mining industry through innovative and effective training programs.”

    The award recognized RRC video training that highlights SMRD’s use of drone technology in the field, including pre- and post-flight procedures, drone inspection efficiency, how drones and maintain safe distance between multi-ton mining equipment and inspectors.

    “We are extremely honored to receive this award,” said Brent Elliott, RRC’s Director of the SMRD. “We are not just committed to adapting new technologies that improve on our ability to protect public safety and the environment, but the award shows our willingness to share what we know to help both industry and regulators alike.”


    Jason Corley, Manager of SMRD Inspection and Enforcement, credits Inspector Cade Harris for putting the training together using video conference software.

    SMRD, which has three drone pilots, has been using drones since July 2020 and have logged more than 100 mission flights.

    “Drones have made a portion of what our inspectors do much more efficient than in recent times,” Corley said. “For instance, in collecting annual regrade lines and suitable material haulback placement progress – a task that could take half of an inspection – drones can now be flown effortlessly in mere minutes versus the hours of work it used to take. They allow us to see the big picture of ground conditions in a bird’s eye view.”

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $330,000 in Penalties

    April 14, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $334,845 in fines involving 97 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Ten dockets involved $96,395 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $43,650 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $194,800 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for January 2022

    April 13, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for January 2022 came from 162,579 oil wells and 85,812 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from February 2021 to January 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.4 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.6 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (January 2022): Statewide Production* 

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    118,056,176 bbls (barrels)

    3,808,264 bbls

    Natural Gas

    871,065,745 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    28,098,895 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (January 2021): Statewide Production 

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    UPDATED AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    120,505,008 bbls

    3,887,258 bbls

    113,528,902 bbls

    3,662,223 bbls

    Natural Gas

    879,316,144 mcf

    28,365,037 mcf

    803,040,795 mcf

    25,904,542 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (January 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    17,199,573

    2.

    Martin

    13,964,857

    3.

    Howard

    8,577,929

    4.

    Karnes

    8,010,338

    5.

    Upton

    6,918,632

    6.

    Loving

    6,227,249

    7.

    Reeves

    5,948,547

    8.

    Glasscock

    3,965,311

    9.

    Andrews

    3,875,724

    10.

    Reagan

    3,715,744

     

    TABLE 4 (January 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production 

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    87,572,456

    2.

    Webb

    60,834,708

    3.

    Panola

    55,619,249

    4.

    Midland

    55,454,649

    5.

    Loving

    36,482,844

    6.

    Culberson

    35,565,912

    7.

    Martin

    32,656,507

    8.

    Reagan

    28,744,992

    9.

    Harrison

    27,745,784

    10.

    Upton

    26,163,670

     

    TABLE 5 (January 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production 

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    6,605,405

    2.

    Loving

    3,477,832

    3.

    Culberson

    2,728,619

    4.

    DeWitt

    1,314,023

    5.

    Dimmit

    977,689

    6.

    Karnes

    941,720

    7.

    Webb

    935,787

    8.

    Live Oak

    510,203

    9.

    La Salle

    352,674

    10.

    Ward

    316,754

  • RRC Commissioners Vote to Ensure Supply for Texans Relying on Natural Gas in Emergencies

    April 12, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas commissioners today adopted a new rule that sets priorities for firm gas supplies and transportation during emergencies such as last year’s Winter Storm Uri.

    This latest action by the Commission continues efforts to ensure Texans that in energy emergency events, like Uri, their life-saving natural gas for food and heat will continue to flow.

    The new curtailment rule is similar to an emergency order commissioners issued during Uri to prioritize natural gas deliveries for human needs, which in turn helped 99.95% of gas utility local distribution residential customers to maintain natural gas service during the storm. Similar to last year’s emergency order, the new rule also cements gas deliveries to electric generation facilities as a top priority.

    The curtailment rule is triggered when a gas utility is unable to deliver all the gas it is contractually obligated to deliver (through what’s known as firm contracts) during emergency events and has to curtail its firm customers. In such situations, the rule sets the following order of priorities for firm deliveries:

    1. Human needs customers and local distribution systems which serve human needs customers.
    1. Electric generation facilities.
    1. Industrial and commercial users of the minimum natural gas required to prevent physical harm and/or ensure critical safety to the plant facilities, to plant personnel, or the public when such protection cannot be achieved through the use of an alternate fuel.
    1. Small industrials and regular commercial loads that use less than 3 million cubic feet of gas per day.
    1. Large industrial and commercial users for fuel or as a raw material where an alternate fuel or raw material cannot be used and operation and plant production would be curtailed or shut down completely when natural gas is curtailed.
    1. Large industrial and commercial users for fuel or as a raw material where an alternate fuel or raw material can be used and operation and plant production would be curtailed or shut down completely when natural gas is curtailed.
    1. Customers that are not covered by the priorities listed above.

    The priority list helps ensure the availability of gas for human needs customers, and electricity generation facilities powered by natural gas. Human needs customers include residences, hospitals, water and wastewater facilities, emergency responder facilities, and locations where people may congregate in an emergency such as schools and places of worship.

    “The Commission’s curtailment order during Uri saved countless lives by ensuring the 99% of Texans that needed life-saving natural gas during the freeze – got it,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “It’s vital to have an action plan for emergencies, and that’s what curtailment does. The Commission today strengthened that plan by placing it in our rules and focusing on firm supply and transport of natural gas. This will give market participants certainty of the plan and encourage them to obtain firm contracts, increasing the reliability of the natural gas system in Texas.”

    “One of the fundamental principles of the Railroad Commission of Texas is to prioritize the health and safety of Texans,” said Commissioner Christi Craddick. “Through the adoption of our curtailment order, we have honored the mission of this agency by prioritizing human needs natural gas customers. I am proud of the hard work by agency staff and stakeholders to ensure that natural gas is available to those who need it most during an emergency.”

    “As we saw during Winter Storm Uri, it is essential that the delivery of gas is prioritized for human needs and electrical generation in emergency situations,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “Today’s rulemaking updates longstanding Railroad Commission practices to ensure that those with firm contracts have the gas they need to keep our citizens safe.”

    A copy of the adopted rule can be found at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/3l4bqkuf/adopt-amend-7-455-repeal-7-305-sig-041222.pdf. The rule goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2022.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for March 2022

    April 11, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 1,176 original drilling permits in March 2022 compared to 798 in March 2021. The March 2022 total includes 1,035 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, seven to re-enter plugged wellbores and 113 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in March 2022 is 256 oil, 76 gas, 783 oil or gas, 48 injection, and 13 other permits.

    In March 2022, Commission staff processed 576 oil, 226 gas and 273 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 601 oil, 162 gas, and 110 injection completions in March 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 2,907 compared to 2,279 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 MARCH 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    125

    43

    19

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    67

    55

    33

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    24

    5

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    9

    3

    15

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    5

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    38

    5

    41

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    36

    10

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    54

    40

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    557

    305

    67

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    41

    9

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    59

    19

    10

    (10) PANHANDLE

    20

    6

    13

    TOTAL

    1,035

    503

    203

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Investigation Does Not Indicate High H2S Levels at Boehmer Lake

    April 08, 2022

    AUSTIN – Recent reports state that a water well believed to be the source of Boehmer Lake in Pecos County in West Texas has been releasing unusually high amounts of hydrogen sulfide.

    The RRC has not received any information to support these claims.

    The reports state that readings as high as 14,000 parts per million were recorded at the site. Levels above 700 ppm would mean sudden unconsciousness and above 1,000 ppm would result in “nearly instant death,” according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    The RRC has been investigating a prior complaint from the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District to determine whether the water well is affecting oil, gas or freshwater strata or if the well is polluted with mineral water. During a visit in January to Boehmer Lake as part of that investigation, RRC did not detect any H2S.

    An RRC inspector and contractors inspected the lake and canal system and took water samples, all while wearing H2S monitors. Those monitors are designed to go off if they read H2S levels at or above 10 ppm. OSHA rules state that the allowable level for workers is 10 ppm or less.

    The H2S monitors worn were not triggered, and neither RRC’s inspector nor contractors were harmed.

  • Positive Trend in Pipeline Damage Incidents Thanks to Public Awareness

    April 06, 2022

    AUSTIN – It should not be that surprising that the number one cause for pipeline incidents is not calling 811 to have underground utilities located, according to Railroad Commission statistics for 2021.

    Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation recently emphasizing 811 and recognizing April as Safe Digging Month to bring awareness of the serious public safety consequences should pipelines or other underground utilities be damaged anywhere in Texas.

    Homeowners, excavators and contractors are required to call 811 before digging, which prompts utility operators to come and mark the location of underground cables and utilities, including pipelines.

    RRC statistics show the effectiveness of calling 811 in preventing pipeline damage is better than it has ever been.

    In 2020, the total number of 811 calls to locate was 3.78 million, which jumped to 4.31 million in 2021.

    The rate of pipeline incidents actually dropped in 2021 to 2.21 incidents per 1,000 calls to locate; the rate was 2.5 incidents per 1,000 calls in 2020. The rate has been steadily dropping since the first full year of recordkeeping started in 2008 when there were 6.44 pipeline incidents per 1,000.

     

    “The statistics show our outreach is working,” said Ricardo Gamez, a compliance analyst with the RRC Damage Prevention Program. “While we would like to see further reduction in the total number of damages, the fact that the number of 811 calls to locate has increased year after year can be attributed to the increase in excavation occurring in our growing state.”

    Calling 811 is free but must be made at least two business days before digging. Locator personnel are dispatched to the digging site to mark the locations of underground pipelines and utilities with flags, spray paint or both.

    Location requests can also be filed online at the Texas 811 website at https://www.texas811.org/.

    To see 2021 statistics in more detail, visit RRC’s Damage Prevention Statistics webpage.

March

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $375,000 in Penalties

    March 31, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $375,603 in fines involving 134 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Six dockets involved $80,203 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $50,500 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $244,900 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for February 2022

    March 28, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 836 original drilling permits in February 2022 compared to 606 in February 2021. The February 2022 total includes 700 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, eight to re-enter plugged wellbores, and 119 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in February 2022 is 181 oil, 81 gas, 518 oil or gas, 46 injection, and 10 other permits.

    In February 2022, Commission staff processed 580 oil, 115 gas and 124 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 482 oil, 107 gas, and 89 injection completions in February 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 1,747 compared to 1,663 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 FEBRUARY 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    111

    24

    24

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    69

    32

    19

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    14

    14

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    5

    1

    2

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    10

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    36

    3

    12

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    16

    8

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    28

    54

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    355

    358

    34

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    23

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    29

    13

    3

    (10) PANHANDLE

    4

    10

    4

    TOTAL

    700

    530

    101

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Christian: Texas Oil & Gas Can Save Europe, Again

    By Wayne Christian
    March 18, 2022

    Like everyone, I’m heartbroken about everything happening in our world right now. As a parent and grandparent, I’m worried about the nation we are leaving for the next generation. 

    In recent years, it has become painfully clear that climate catastrophism has an oversized influence on public policy. An intense focus on reaching the unattainable goal of carbon-zero has repeatedly caused poor policy decisions that increase costs to consumers and make us more reliant on unreliable forms of energy. Ironically, these policies do not reduce emissions, they just ship them overseas and make us more reliant on hostile foreign nations, like Russia and China. 

    But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Energy security is national security, plain and simple. I know it sounds played-out but it’s a fact.

    Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in Europe, which had relied on Russia for almost half of its natural gas supply[1] and Chinese renewables for roughly another fifth of their energy[2]. The European Union (EU) has painted themselves into an energy-dependent corner and jeopardized their national security as a result. 

    Since taking office, President Biden made every poor decision he could make to cripple our geopolitical standing in the world. From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American energy dominance, it’s clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical leftwing activists than doing what is right for the American people.

    There are better alternatives, and buying American is the solution. In 2019, the U.S. became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 67 years[3], surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world[4]. This gave us affordable energy, thousands of new jobs, economic growth, and national security. Our country achieved this by simply empowering, instead of attacking, domestic oil and gas producers.

    The EU should be buying Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from friendly countries like America, Australia, and other western democracies to meet their firm generation needs. It’s dependable, affordable, and cleaner than coal. European gas presently trades around $26 per metric million British thermal units, while the price of U.S. LNG is a little over $9 but has been as low as $4[5]. Given the right production incentives, it can be that low again. Texas represents a quarter of the U.S.’s natural gas production and can certainly produce more to meet that potential demand.

    Texas is the nation’s largest producer of oil and gas, and if it were a country, it would be the third largest producer in the world[6]. Prior to COVID-19 and OPEC disputes, Texas was producing a historic 1.85 billion barrels a year, with a 60% increase from 2016-2020[7]. Today, Texas has been producing much less at roughly 4.7 million daily barrels, or a lesser difference of about 320,000 barrels a day[8].

    Currently, American oil and gas producers are seeing all red lights. From growing ESG investments to federal leasing bans to canceled pipelines and increased regulations, there has been little incentive the past two years for investors, producers, refiners and more.  

    We need to be realistic and practical. The price of crude oil has skyrocketed, inflation is rampant, and Europe is mired in its first ground war since World War II. It’s time to switch the lights from red to green. We should be divesting from hostile countries and harnessing American oil and gas right here in the Permian Basin.

    This wouldn’t be the first time Texas energy played an impactful role on the world stage. In World War I, Eastland County, Texas and the “Roaring Ranger” production were essential to the Allied victory[9]. In World War II, six of the seven billion barrels of oil used to win the war came from the U.S.,[10] with two East Texas pipelines largely responsible for transporting most of it from the largest oil field in history at the time. Winston Churchill at the end of the conflict said that the war was won on a sea of East Texas oil[11].

    As Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, I led an effort, joined by my colleagues, calling for all oil and gas producers to divest from Russia. I’m glad to see some large producers heeded that call as well as mildly encouraged that President Biden came to his sense on Russian oil. However, there is much more that needs to be done to end Putin’s unlawful war, decrease energy costs and strengthen our national security. As Biden shuts the spigot off on Russian oil and gas, he needs to turn the American one on full blast.  

    The Lone Star State is ready to meet U.S. energy needs and help our European allies meet theirs. Mr. President, please just give Texas the green light.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

     

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/business/economy/russia-europe-sanctions-gas-oil.html

    [2] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Renewable_energy_statistics

    [3] https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/imports-and-exports.php

    [4] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=40973

    [5] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9133us3m.htm

    [6] https://www.txoga.org/txoga-statement-ukraine-invasion-underscores-importance-of-strong-domestic-energy-production/

    [7] https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=TX

    [8] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfptx2&f=a

    [9] https://aoghs.org/petroleum-pioneers/roaring-ranger-wins-wwi/

    [10] https://theconversation.com/energy-pipelines-are-controversial-now-but-one-of-the-first-big-ones-helped-win-world-war-ii-161729

    [11] https://www.kltv.com/story/37257286/75th-anniversary-of-the-big-inch-pipeline/

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for December 2021

    March 11, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for December 2021 came from 165,136 oil wells and 86,612 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from January 2021 to December 2021, total Texas reported production was 1.4 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (December 2021): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    107,277,204 bbls (barrels)

    3,460,555 bbls

    Natural Gas

    747,220,020 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    24,103,872 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (December 2020): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    121,479,433 bbls

    3,918,691 bbls

    109,004,525 bbls

    3,516,275 bbls

    Natural Gas

    873,174,192 mcf

    28,166,909 mcf

    725,311,065 mcf

    23,397,131 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (December 2021): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    17,103,852

    2.

    Martin

    13,514,164

    3.

    Howard

    7,736,710

    4.

    Karnes

    7,527,355

    5.

    Upton

    6,409,692

    6.

    Reeves

    5,485,312

    7.

    Loving

    4,480,803

    8.

    Andrews

    3,662,774

    9.

    Glasscock

    3,288,842

    10.

    Reagan

    2,868,285

     

    TABLE 4 (December 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas and Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    76,848,675

    2.

    Midland

    56,427,733

    3.

    Webb

    54,249,008

    4.

    Panola

    46,413,814

    5.

    Loving

    33,133,848

    6.

    Martin

    32,253,174

    7.

    Culberson

    31,548,456

    8.

    Upton

    26,231,094

    9.

    Harrison

    24,875,203

    10.

    Tarrant

    23,796,399

     

    TABLE 5 (December 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,458,957

    2.

    Loving

    3,459,102

    3.

    Culberson

    2,400,534

    4.

    DeWitt

    1,068,456

    5.

    Webb

    782,397

    6.

    Karnes

    670,078

    7.

    Live Oak

    216,146

    8.

    Ward

    213,522

    9.

    Washington

    164,561

    10.

    McMullen

    136,398

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $890,000 in Penalties

    March 10, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $890,737.40 in fines involving 212 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Eleven dockets involved $362,502 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $80,585.40 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $447,650 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • RRC Statement on Gas Service to Seguin and McQueeney

    March 09, 2022

    The RRC was notified Tuesday afternoon of an accident resulting in damage to an Enterprise pipeline which caused the pipeline to be shut-in. The RRC soon dispatched an inspector to the area, and we are investigating the incident. As a result of the pipeline damage gas to Seguin and McQueeney was cut off.

    Enterprise re-pressurized the pipeline Tuesday allowing gas to flow again. However, CenterPoint Energy, the gas utility to Seguin and McQueeney, needs to restore gas service customer by customer. CenterPoint has brought in technicians from around Texas and out-of-state to help get service restored. Other utilities are also assisting CenterPoint to get customers back online as soon as possible. More than 200 technicians were working in the area throughout the night to restore services.

    The RRC will also help city, county and other local officials with any assistance they may need and is in contact with the operators in order to get gas service restored quickly.

  • RRC Implements First-Ever Operator-Led Plan to Reduce Seismicity in West Texas

    March 07, 2022

    AUSTIN – In the Western Permian Basin, the Railroad Commission began implementation last week of a first of its kind operator-led response plan that addresses injection-induced seismicity to help keep residents and the environment safe.

    The plan for the Northern Culberson-Reeves Seismic Response Area (SRA) – which is adjacent to Guadalupe Mountain National Park to the west and is near the border of New Mexico to the north – is meant to reduce the intensity and frequency of earthquakes, including a goal to eliminate 3.5 magnitude or greater earthquakes no later than Dec. 31, 2023.

    The comprehensive plan for the Northern Culberson-Reeves SRA provides variable reductions in disposal volumes of produced water (water that comes out of the ground with oil and gas during production) across all disposal wells. It will provide the RRC with additional information with the expansion of the seismic monitoring stations in the area, which will provide better data on the precise location and depth of earthquakes.

    This is one of three SRAs in West Texas that the RRC has created to address injection-induced seismic activity from disposal wells. In December, the RRC indefinitely suspended deep disposal in the Gardendale SRA between Odessa and Midland. An operator-led response plan for the Stanton SRA is currently being developed.

    The Norther Culberson -Reeves SRA plan affects 57 shallow saltwater disposal wells (typically less than 7,000 feet in depth) above the top of the Wolfcamp Shale Play and 31 deep disposal wells (typically between 11,000-16,000 feet in depth) below the bottom of the Wolfcamp.

    “Industry asked RRC to allow them to come up with a plan to address the issue,” said Sean Avitt, Manager of RRC’s Injection-Storage Permits Unit. “We provided extensive feedback to ensure the plan met our goals. Industry was able to produce a plan leveraging what they know about the area and their injection operations there. However, we made it clear if circumstances change, the Commission may have to take further actions to reduce seismicity.”

    Injection limits on shallow disposal wells are as follows:

    • All shallow disposals wells that were within 4.5 kilometers of any 3.5 magnitude or greater earthquake in the SRA will reduce injection volumes to 10,000 barrels per day or less by Sept. 1.
    • Daily injection volumes could be 15,000 a day if the operator adds a seismic monitoring station strategically placed on the property for use by the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program.
    • Shallow disposal wells that were between 4.5 and 9.08 kilometers of any 3.5 magnitude or greater earthquake will be allowed 20,000 barrels per day.
    • Daily injection volumes could be 30,000 a day if the operator adds a seismic monitoring station.
    • Any undrilled or uncompleted shallow disposal wells within 9.08 kilometers of any 3.5 magnitude or greater earthquake in the SRA is required to give the RRC a 30-day notice before drilling or completion operations can begin.

    Injection limits on deep disposal wells are as follows:

    • All deep disposal wells in this area will reduce injection volume by 50% before June 30, 2023. Operators with multiple wells will be allowed to spread their reduction among all of their wells.
    • Operators with only one well will allowed a maximum of 15,000 barrels per day before June 30, 2023.
    • By June of this year, any inactive deep disposal well will either have its permit canceled, or the operator will apply for an amended permit for shallow disposal.

    The full plan is available on RRC’s Seismicity Response webpage.

  • Texas Energy Regulator Pens Open Letter to President Biden on Solutions to Energy Crisis and Curbing Russian Aggression

    March 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Today, Chairman Wayne Christian penned an open letter to President Joe Biden critiquing his failed energy agenda and providing solutions to the ongoing global energy crisis.

    In the letter, he calls on Biden to immediately end all Russian oil imports to the U.S., instruct international oil and gas companies cut ties with Russian operators, and to put an immediate end to his anti-oil-and-gas rhetoric and policies so domestic producers have the regulatory certainty necessary to increase production here at home.

    “From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American Energy Dominance, it is clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical left-wing activists than doing the right thing for the American people,” said Chairman Christian. “Putin’s Russia is an enemy actor who should be cut off completely—we don’t need their oil, gas or anything else. It’s simple: NOW is the time to unleash American oil and gas production for the future of our allies and the safety of our nation.”

    You can read the letter here.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Railroad Commissioners Applaud Major Oil Companies Cutting Ties with Russian Oil Companies, Encourage Others to do the Same

    March 01, 2022

    AUSTIN – In recent days, major oil and gas companies, such as British Petroleum and Shell, have announced their divestment of ownership in Russian oil and gas companies such as Rosneft.  RRC commissioners firmly support these actions and strongly encourage all Western oil and gas companies to similarly cut ties with any Russian oil and gas business. 

    “I’m heartbroken and disgusted by the ruthless and lawless actions of Vladimir Putin. Energy security is national security, and that’s clearer than ever,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “The United States, our European allies, and major oil and gas producers should immediately sever all ties with Russia – period. Western democracies shouldn’t fuel Putin’s unjust war against a peaceful and democratic nation. Instead, oil and gas should be purchased from reliable and trusted allies or produced here at home. I call on President Biden to end his illogical stance on oil and gas and unleash American producers in defense of Ukraine and democracy.” 

    “Putin’s war against Ukraine is despicable and should serve as a wake up call to the world,” said Commissioner Christi Craddick. “I support the actions of BP and Shell and encourage other international energy providers to divest from Russian companies and markets. Texas producers are ready, willing, and able to supply oil and gas on a global scale, and I encourage President Biden to support Ukraine by releasing the chokehold on American energy production.”

    “The Russian war against Ukraine is a forceful reminder of the importance of American-made energy and that domestic energy policy is crucially intertwined with U.S. foreign policy,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “The exploration and production of oil and gas does not occur overnight, which is why it is essential to have consistent, predictable, energy policies that encourage and promote development. Maintaining our domestic production is not only vital to America’s national security interest, but those of our allies around the globe. Having long recognized the importance of oil and gas to our state, our nation, and our allies, Texas stands ready to do its part.”

February

  • Railroad Commission Takes Transparency a Step Further with New Flaring/Venting Database

    February 16, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission launched a new online database of flaring and venting applications this week.

    The Flare/Vent Exceptions Query continues a years-long effort to take advantage of technologies and vastly improve public access to the RRC’s information.

    The query, which is updated every night, makes available all applications for exception to Statewide Rule 32 (SWR 32) that were filed electronically with the agency from May 2, 2021, to present.

    SWR 32 specifies exempt and authorized flaring in which an operator can flare, including for safety reasons, without going through the application process to obtain an exception to the rule. Any other flaring request would go through the application for exception to the rule and reviewed.

    The RRC launched a new form, Form R-32, Application for Exception to Statewide Rule 32, for operators to apply for an exception to SWR 32. The new form provides specific guidance on when an exception to flare would be permissible, under which circumstances and for how long.

    The online version of the form launched in May 2021, providing the necessary data to populate the query.

    “The query shows our commitment to making the RRC an open book,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “Flaring has been a much-discussed topic, and we want our information to be publicly accessible as we continue to work to reduce flaring in Texas. The latest data show that in November less that 0.2 percent of natural gas produced was flared, which was a record low. The amount of gas flared has been on a steady decline from 2.7 percent since June 2019. All the rest was gas captured and used for beneficial purposes.”

    The flaring query has several fields for which a user could search including operator name, county, and exception status. All search results have an Actions button for more information on the applications.

    The RRC has published a User Guide for the new query at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/u4hc253p/swr-32-public-query-user_guide_1-0.pdf.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for January 2022

    February 14, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 820 original drilling permits in January 2022 compared to 512 in January 2021. The January 2022 total includes 713 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, nine to re-enter plugged wellbores, and 85 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in January 2022 is 198 oil, 79 gas, 497 oil or gas, 35 injection, and 11 other permits.

    In January 2022, Commission staff processed 532 oil, 92 gas and 279 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 583 oil, 104 gas, and 66 injection completions in January 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 903 compared to 753 recorded during the same period in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 JANUARY 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL
    NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW
    OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW
    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    95

    26

    9

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    45

    37

    6

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    10

    10

    1

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    11

    0

    10

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    31

    1

    7

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    18

    14

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    54

    56

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    379

    268

    36

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    13

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    40

    21

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    12

    9

    2

    TOTAL

    713

    455

    76

    *A district map is available at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $290,000 in Penalties

    February 11, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $293,550 in fines involving 83 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Seven dockets involved $40,000 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $62,400 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $191,150 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Natural Gas Companies Submit Critical Designations

    February 10, 2022

    AUSTIN – As part of the RRC’s ongoing implementation of Senate Bill 3, the agency established rules in November for filing critical infrastructure designation forms (Form CI-D) and filing forms for exception (Form CI-X) as authorized in legislation.

    For the first time ever, companies in the Texas oil and gas industry are required to file forms designating natural gas facilities across the state as critical.

    For the inaugural filings last month, 438 companies filed Form CI-D designating at least 38,471 assets as critical. Assets include, but are not limited to, gas wells and oil wells that produce gas, gas processing plants, underground natural gas storage facilities, natural gas pipelines and saltwater disposal facilities.

    Forty-one companies also filed Form CI-X for 726 assets. Some companies filed both Form CI-D and Form CI-X depending on their assets.

    The final number on filings could change as Commission staff continues their reviews.

    Form CI-D filers who need electricity to operate also submit their critical infrastructure information to electric utilities to help ensure that electric companies do not inadvertently cut the power off to the state’s critical gas infrastructure during a load shed event.

    RRC staff will send out notices to companies who did not file forms with the agency. If confirmed that these companies have critical gas facilities as defined in rules, the RRC will assess the maximum amount of penalty, $10,000 per day for each violation, as allowed in statute.

    “We are encouraged by the number of operators who have filed forms to designate their facilities as critical. This helps ensure natural gas supply during weather emergencies,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “RRC staff will conduct thorough reviews on the accuracy of the forms that have been filed, especially on those applications for an exception. Staff will carefully examine the evidence provided by the applicants to determine eligibility as well as the adequacy of the evidence itself. Applications for an exception that do not meet rule requirements, whether it is for lack of objective evidence or basis for eligibility, will be denied.”

    Some oil and gas operators, such as those with only low, non-critical production volume wells that did not meet critical gas supplier definition, are not eligible for critical designation or required to file forms.

    Critical infrastructure filings are also being utilized in developing the state’s Electricity Supply Chain Map, which the RRC and other state agencies are developing. That map is expected to be produced this spring, well ahead of a Sept. 1, 2022 legislative deadline. The RRC will adopt weatherization rules within six months of the map as specified in legislation.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for November 2021

    February 09, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for November 2021 came from 164,414 oil wells and 86,658 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from December 2020 to November 2021, total Texas reported production was 1.4 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (November 2021): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    109,836,328 bbls (barrels)

    3,661,211 bbls

    Natural Gas

    785,335,350 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    26,177,845 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (November 2020): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    118,475,257 bbls

    3,949,175 bbls

    104,462,869 bbls

    3,482,096 bbls

    Natural Gas

    850,696,144 mcf

    28,356,538 mcf

    720,868,629 mcf

    24,028,954 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (November 2021): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    16,535,587

    2.

    Martin

    12,978,391

    3.

    Howard

    7,562,874

    4.

    Karnes

    7,288,711

    5.

    Upton

    6,328,203

    6.

    Reeves

    5,617,387

    7.

    Loving

    4,660,286

    8.

    Andrews

    3,854,780

    9.

    Reagan

    3,616,978

    10.

    Ward

    3,112,836

     

    TABLE 4 (November 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    74,318,631

    2.

    Midland

    54,007,409

    3.

    Webb

    50,619,226

    4.

    Panola

    46,488,112

    5.

    Culberson

    32,836,979

    6.

    Loving

    31,443,601

    7.

    Martin

    29,591,773

    8.

    Harrison

    27,506,733

    9.

    Tarrant

    26,195,223

    10.

    Upton

    25,551,994

     

    TABLE 5 (November 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    4,947,856

    2.

    Loving

    2,866,353

    3.

    Culberson

    2,440,179

    4.

    DeWitt

    1,378,678

    5.

    Karnes

    1,053,567

    6.

    Webb

    750,025

    7.

    Dimmit

    728,318

    8.

    Live oak

    307,769

    9.

    La Salle

    200,784

    10.

    Ward

    177,217

     

  • RRC’s Commissioners Approve Financing Order to Keep Monthly Gas Utility Bills Low

    February 08, 2022

    AUSTIN – RRC’s commissioners approved a financing order today that will prevent huge spikes in gas bills for more than 4 million residential and 260,000 commercial customers because of Winter Storm Uri.

    Natural gas utilities are authorized by law to pass through the cost of gas each month, without markup, which customers see as a monthly line item in their bills.

    In fact, it is illegal in Texas for natural gas utilities to profit from the sale of natural gas. The pass-through system works best when natural gas prices are stable and affordable, as they typically are, but Winter Storm Uri created a situation that required change.

    The financing order allows natural gas utilities to spread the high cost of gas incurred during last year’s winter storm across multiple monthly bills rather than having customers face a large spike in one bill. This order is not a windfall for natural gas utilities and is for the benefit of Texas consumers.

    Customer rate-relief bonds will be issued for Atmos Energy, CenterPoint, Texas Gas Service and five smaller Texas gas utilities to spread out charges for customers over an extended period time.

    “Today's action by the Railroad Commission is not a bailout for natural gas utilities; it is simply a process created by bipartisan legislation to protect Texas consumers,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “With or without this action, these companies are lawfully able to pass along their expenses to ratepayers. This process simply allows the cost of high-cost gas during Winter Storm Uri to be reimbursed over time instead of in one massive bill."

    “Protecting natural gas customers in Texas has been a priority for myself and this agency since Winter Storm Uri,” said RRC Commissioner Christi Craddick. “The unprecedented circumstances surrounding that winter weather event required swift action, and I am proud to deliver that relief today. Thank you to RRC staff and the Texas Public Financing Authority for your hard work on this important matter.”

    “Today’s order is critical for gas customers and provides a reasonable solution to spread the costs incurred during Winter Storm Uri,” said RRC Commissioner Jim Wright. “The Texas Legislature correctly understood that if this was not addressed, residential customers, including the least fortunate among us, would be hit with a one-time charge that could cause serious harm to their family finances. I am proud of the work of the Legislature, the Railroad Commission and the Texas Public Finance Authority to address this issue and find a solution that benefits all gas utility customers.”

    The financing order is authorized by House Bill 1520 which was passed on a bipartisan basis by the Legislature last year.  The bonds are for approximately $3.4 billion of extraordinary gas costs from last year’s winter storm. 

    The Texas Public Finance Authority will issue the customer rate-relief bonds within six months. Bond proceeds will be used to reimburse participating gas utilities for their gas costs.

January

  • Wright: Oil, Water, Earthquakes and Opportunities

    January 31, 2022

    By Jim Wright

    Over the last year, the oil and gas producing regions in Texas, including those in Permian Basin, have experienced an increase in seismic activity.

    Seismic activity associated with the production of oil and gas is nothing new, and as the regulator for the oil and gas industry, the Railroad Commission of Texas monitors reports of seismic events throughout the state and maintains the authority to modify or suspend permits when necessary to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

    The most probable culprit, according to seismologists, is the injection of saltwater into underground formations to dispose of it. This saltwater is produced in the oil and gas extraction process. During the production process this water is separated from the oil and often disposed of underground. These underground formations are often categorized into one of two groups based on their depth and referred to as shallow or deep.

    Seismologists have determined it is the injection of water into the deeper formations that is likely responsible for the recent earthquakes in the Permian Basin. While deep injection is general a safe and commonly used disposal method for produced water, it has been linked to increased seismic activity when disposal wells are located on or near geological faults, as has been the case in previous seismic events in North Texas and Oklahoma.

    In the case of the recent seismic activity in the Midland-Odessa area, the magnitude, frequency and proximity to the surrounding cities required swift action, and on Dec. 17, the Railroad Commission issued a notice to operators in the area to cease all deep injections until further notice.

    While the commission’s response predated the most recent earthquakes, seismic experts warn that there is often a lag between saltwater injection and seismic movement, and it can take several months for the earthquakes to cease.

    Where will this water go now that deep injection has been curtailed? The Railroad Commission is working with operators to expedite approval for additional shallow wells. Studies have shown that shallow injection is inherently less risky as it relates to seismic activity in the Midland-Odessa area, but increased volume in shallow formations presents its own long-term challenges. Primary among these concerns is the risk of over-pressurizing the formation and thus increasing the risk of blowing out plugged and abandoned wells.

    So, what are we to do with this water if injecting in deep formations risks earthquakes and injecting water into shallow formations could lead to over-pressurizing the formation in the future?

    For one, some of this water can be reused during the initial drilling and fracking of new wells. Many producers in the Permian already practice this form of recycling, although most estimate that even at peak operational efficiency this would only account for 40% of the water used in established wells. This is a worthwhile endeavor and should be applauded, but the inherent logistical challenges and overall volume means this is only a partial solution.

    Thankfully, the Texas Legislature has recognized that the challenge of what to do with this produced water is an issue that deserves greater study, attention, and potential solutions. During the most recent legislative session, state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, introduced legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, to create the Texas Produced Water Consortium administered through Texas Tech University. This will bring stakeholders and scholars together to study and review environmentally friendly and economically feasible solutions to use this resource.

    Texas and the oil and gas producing regions in the Permian and Panhandle are no strangers to water shortages. The state’s rapidly increasing population and industrial growth has placed stress on our available water resources as human needs compete against resources long devoted to agricultural uses. The most logical long-term solution to balance these competing interests is to increase the available supply of water through new and previously unused sources.

    The mission of the Railroad Commission is to “serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans.” Through the Produced Water Consortium, it is my hope that Texas can find a workable solution that will reduce the potential of future seismic events by finding alternative, productive uses for the produced water generated during oil and gas extraction, such as agricultural irrigation for commodities such as cotton or enhancing natural vegetation.

     

    A conservative businessman with over 35 years of experience in the energy industry, Jim Wright was elected as the 51st Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2020. He and his wife, Sherry, live in Orange Grove and have five children. Read more about Commissioner Wright here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $425,000 in Penalties

    January 31, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $428,575 in fines involving 130 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Seven dockets involved $90,115 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $41,510 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $296,950 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Railroad Commission Hires First Chief Data Officer, New Government Relations Director

    January 27, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission recently hired its first Chief Data Officer and also a new director of Government Relations.

    Chief Data Officer Alkesh Amodwala and Government Relations Director Krista Duke have hit the ground running as the agency implements new legislation, including bills on data governance and natural gas infrastructure.

    “We are very fortunate to be able to add Alkesh and Krista to our staff,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “Each brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the agency that will be vital for the RRC in important initiatives to help residents and energy industry operators in Texas.”

    Amodwala brings more than 15 years of experience in supply chain development, business intelligence, analytics and data governance/strategy to the RRC. Among his roles, he has worked for General Motors IT Branch – Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, Hewlett Packard and Home Depot.

    Amodwala leads a new team in the RRC’s Information Technology Services Division focusing on data projects. The 10-member team consolidates experts in the agency and is working on data initiatives as well as supporting the work of the agency’s ongoing development of a map of the electric grid supply chain.

    Duke, who is playing a critical role with the implementation of all the RRC’s state legislation and any federal legislation, has wide-ranging experience at the state Capitol. She most recently served in the Texas Senate as General Counsel and as Legislative Director for two senators, respectively. In addition, she held leadership positions in the offices of members of the Texas House of Representatives and House Committees.

    She has a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University and a law degree from St. Mary’s University.

  • Christian: Texas’ Flaring Rate Continues Record Drop

    January 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The statewide flaring rate fell to an even lower record level at the end of 2021, according to the Railroad Commission’s latest production report. The percentage of natural gas flared in Texas dropped from a previous record low of 0.20% in September 2021 to a new record low of 0.19% in November.

    Texas has one of the lowest flaring rates of large oil and gas producing states in the country, with an average rate of flaring that has remained significantly less than 2% for more than two years.

    “Report after report shows that Texas is on the right track to reducing and maintaining low levels of flaring,” RRC Chairman Wayne Christian said of the report. “Although the mainstream media often ignores this record achieving accomplishment by government and industry, it’s proof that a cooperative collaboration can bring positive results, and I continue to be proud of the effort and its outcome.”

    “Texas proudly boasts conservative, pro-business policies which are bringing 1,000 people a day to our state,” Christian continued. “As we need to produce more oil and gas to keep up with our growth, I’m committed to a consistent and predictable regulatory process based on sound science that allows oil and gas companies to responsibly produce plentiful, affordable and reliable energy to meet the increasing demand for all Texans.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • State’s Critical Natural Gas Supply Demonstrating Significant Progress Winterizing Equipment

    January 19, 2022

    AUSTIN – Ongoing RRC site visits to natural gas facilities show that significant progress has been made by Texas facilities to supply the fuel in emergency weather conditions.

    As the recent freezing weather at the end of December demonstrated, much needed quantities of natural gas did flow to electric generating power plants and into people’s homes for heating.

    It’s very important to understand that daily gas production can fluctuate from hour to hour due to a variety of reasons, such as scheduled maintenance and scheduled downtime for safety reasons. Average statewide daily production can vary as much as more than 2 billion cubic feet per day, even during late spring. Given Texas’ production totals, this means more than 90% of the daily stays online.

    Daily natural gas production is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to natural gas supply. Gas produced from wellheads needs to be processed and transported to end users.

    The vast majority of the state’s natural supply is stored in underground storage facilities and packed in major pipelines. For this reason, RRC inspectors not only visit natural gas wells but, more importantly, natural storage and pipelines.

    As of mid-December, the state had approximately 448 billion cubic feet of working gas in underground storage, and another 30-35 billion cubic feet is typically in pipelines at any given time.

    Since the end of last summer, RRC inspectors have conducted site visits at more than 3,800 natural gas facilities representing oil and gas leases with nearly 22,000 active wells, gas storage facilities that account for about 76% the state’s gas storage, and more than 350 pipelines transporting natural gas.

    During the site visits, which are continuing throughout the winter, RRC inspectors have been directly observing measures operators are undertaking to provide gas supplies under normal and emergency conditions. Inspectors have physically observed what devices natural gas facilities have put in place and processes to harden their assets against cold weather.

    About 98% of the facilities visited had been winterized. The remaining 2% or so were in the process of winterizing at the time when RRC visited them in the last few months.

    “We have been putting boots on the ground and eyes on the state’s critical assets,” said Ted Wooten, RRC Director of Critical Infrastructure. “Based on what our inspectors have observed, natural gas producers and pipeline operators have taken necessary actions to ensure gas will continue to flow this winter to people’s homes and power plants.”

    Preliminary data for October 2021 shows the statewide average natural gas production at about 26.5 billion cubic feet per day, which was up by more than 1.5 billion cubic feet per day than in October 2020.

    And Texas continues to add more production capacity.

    Since the start of the fourth quarter of last year, operators in the Permian Basin have added more than 30 drilling rigs to the basin, bringing the total to nearly 300 as of January with the state at more at more than 400. From August to December, well completions averaged more than 400 per month – the highest since first-quarter 2020, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Information RRC inspectors have been collecting is also helping the agency to develop industry best practices and guidelines. There is a best practices report that’s included as the last attachment in the Texas Electricity Supply Chain Security and Mapping Committee Report.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $845,000 in Penalties

    January 14, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $848,845 in fines involving 185 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Seven dockets involved $385,383 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $61,912 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $401,550 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for December 2021

    January 13, 2022

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 842 original drilling permits in December 2021 compared to 468 in December 2020. The December 2021 total includes 756 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, six to re-enter plugged wellbores, and 77 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in December 2021 is 179 oil, 65 gas, 552 oil or gas, 38 injection, and eight other permits.

    In December 2021, Commission staff processed 605 oil, 99 gas and 211 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 493 oil, 77 gas, and 116 injection completions in December 2020.

    Total well completions processed for 2021 year-to-date for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 9,269 compared to 14,140 recorded during the same period in 2020.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 DECEMBER 2021 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    84

    29

    14

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    54

    35

    3

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    14

    8

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    13

    1

    8

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    1

    2

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    31

    3

    5

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    11

    6

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    54

    68

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    416

    330

    31

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    16

    14

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    52

    10

    4

    (10) PANHANDLE

    8

    7

    1

    TOTAL

    756

    512

    71

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for October 2021

    January 12, 2022

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for October 2021 came from 164,189 oil wells and 86,010 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from November 2020 to October 2021, total Texas reported production was 1.4 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (October 2021): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    112,667,446 bbls (barrels)

    3,634,434 bbls

    Natural Gas

    821,516,825 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    26,500,543 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (October 2020): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume

    Updated Average Daily Production

    Preliminary Reported Total Volume

    Preliminary Average Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    122,240,455 bbls

    3,943,240 bbls

    110,160,959 bbls

    3,553,579 bbls

    Natural Gas

    874,163,183 mcf

    28,198,812 mcf

    772,887,844 mcf

    24,931,866 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (October 2021): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    16,144,224

    2.

    Martin

    13,023,772

    3.

    Howard

    8,578,247

    4.

    Karnes

    7,094,986

    5.

    Upton                 

    6,476,698

    6.

    Reeves

    5,816,626

    7.

    Loving

    4,829,751

    8.

    Andrews

    3,920,410

    9.

    Reagan

    3,827,214

    10.

    Ward

    3,259,622

     

    TABLE 4 (October 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    80,264,319

    2.

    Webb

    53,779,873

    3.

    Midland

    52,753,855

    4.

    Panola

    50,473,509

    5.

    Culberson

    34,503,932

    6.

    Loving

    34,413,469

    7.

    Harrison

    29,213,207

    8.

    Martin

    28,424,842

    9.

    Tarrant

    27,183,164

    10.

    Reagan

    27,133,558

     

    TABLE 5 (October 2021): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,522,424

    2.

    Loving

    3,153,585

    3.

    Culberson

    2,748,268

    4.

    Karnes

    1,065,731

    5.

    DeWitt

    1,059,332

    6.

    Dimmit

    750,542

    7.

    Webb

    715,978

    8.

    Live Oak

    243,528

    9.

    La Salle

    208,929

    10.

    Ward

    197,410

     

  • RRC Statement on Reports of Cold Weather Impact on Natural Gas Production

    January 07, 2022

    AUSTIN – Many media reports beat the warning drums of a dire situation with the state’s natural gas production last weekend. That is incorrect.

    The Railroad Commission’s objective is to help ensure there’s enough gas to protect Texas residents. Power stayed on, lights were on, and gas kept flowing to residences last weekend.

    Yes, production can fluctuate on any given day at any given hour for various reasons. However, the RRC has not received any indications that production decreased anywhere near the extent that has been reported. During the weekend and after, major producers we contacted did not report any drastic disruptions of gas production.

    We have looked at data, and according to S&P Global analysis, production on the Texas side of Permian was up 570 million cubic feet/day on Jan. 3, largely a function of a return to normal after a one day decrease in production on Sunday. This volume accounts for 2% of Texas’ daily production. Sunday’s temporary drop did not have a real impact on the gas market or the grid.

    Again, there was plenty of gas flowing to power generators and homes.

    The sources used in some media reports utilized pipeline nominations – which are basically contract requests for space in the pipeline system to transport gas – to estimate real-time gas production. That approach is speculative and does not paint a complete picture, especially given that gas trading markets were closed for the holiday weekend.

    The Permian Basin also saw a recent acceleration in drilling and completion activities. Since the start of the fourth quarter of last year, Permian operators have added more than 30 rigs to the basin, bringing the total to an estimated 300 in the week ended Dec. 29. In November, the number of wells drilled surged to a 19-month high at 300. From August to November, well completions averaged more than 400 per month – the highest since first-quarter 2020, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Production is just one piece of the puzzle to help gas flowing to Texans and electrical power producers throughout the state. Gas storage plays a very important role, as well.

    Processed, dry gas that is already in storage, ready to flow to homes and facilities, including power plants, is critical. It can lessen the impact of potential gas market or production fluctuations. As of mid-December ahead of this winter season, the state had approximately 448 billion cubic feet of working gas already in underground storage.

    A final point to note, is that the first media outlet to claim significant problems from the cold weather, Bloomberg, has now revised some of its claims. Their early week article stated that nearly 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas had to be flared due to cold weather issues. But they have issued a correction that it was nearly 1 million cubic feet that was flared, a thousand-fold drop. One million cubic feet represents about 0.0035% of Texas production statewide.





Commissioners