Railroad Commission Oil & Gas Enforcement Actions on the Rise in Fiscal Year 2015

October 05, 2015

AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission of Texas conducted more than 3,600 additional oil and gas inspections and assessed almost $1 million more in penalties in Fiscal Year 2015 compared to Fiscal Year 2014. The number of violations identified through oil and gas inspections also dropped by more than 1,100 violations from FY 2015 compared to FY 2014. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry. 

Specifically, the Commission conducted 134,484 oil and gas inspections in FY 2015 compared to 130,812 in FY 2014, and during inspections found 61,189 violations in FY 2015 compared to 62,385 violations cited in FY 2014. Additionally, the Commission assessed $3,603,050 in administrative penalties in FY 2015 compared to $2,616,723 in penalties assessed in FY 2014. 

The number of pipeline severance and seal orders also dropped in FY 2015 to 9,481 from 11,541 in FY 2014. Pipeline severance and seal orders are important enforcement tools used by the Commission when operators fail to come into compliance with Commission rules. RRC severances and seal orders prohibit an operator from selling or moving their oil or natural gas off a lease, effectively shutting off income from the severed lease. 

Details on the Commission’s fiscal year enforcement actions, including severance/seal orders can be found here. 

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission 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. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.