RRC Open Meeting Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

The next RRC Open Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June, 22 at 10:30 a.m. (please note the different start time). The virtual meeting can be viewed live at this link: http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/rrc/open_meeting/20210622/

News

Agency News Items - 2017

December

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for October 2017

    December 22, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for October 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,645,972 barrels of crude oil and 540,197,160 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for October 2016, was: 73,565,318 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 85,337,456 barrels; and 582,136,569 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 676,871,351 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from November 2016 to October 2017, total Texas reported production was 1.003 billion barrels of crude oil and 7.5 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary October 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,440,193 barrels daily, compared to the 2,373,075 barrels daily average of October 2016.

    Texas preliminary October 2017 total gas production averaged 17,425,715 mcf a day, compared to the 18,778,599 mcf daily average of October 2016.

    Texas production in October 2017 came from 179,846 oil wells and 91,561 gas wells.

    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

    TABLE 1 – OCTOBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

     1.

    MIDLAND

    8,127,821

     2.

    KARNES

    6,317,283

     3.

    MARTIN

    3,956,557

     4.

    UPTON

    3,946,708

      5. 

    REEVES

    3,888,276

    6.

    LOVING

    3,453,863

    7.

    LA SALLE

    3,301,818

    8. 

    DE WITT

    2,901,535

    9. 

    ANDREWS

    2,850,746

    10.

    GONZALES

    2,464,846


    TABLE 2 – OCTOBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

     1. 

    WEBB

    37,679,743

    2.

    TARRANT

    36,107,443

    3.

    MIDLAND

    20,621,797

    4.

    DIMMIT

    19,875,218

     5. 

    PANOLA

    19,599,296

    6.

    KARNES

    19,562,625

     7. 

    REEVES

    18,823,870

    8.

    JOHNSON

    17,246,966

    9.

    DE WITT

    15,986,785

    10.

    WISE

    14,882,227


    TABLE 3 – OCTOBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    DIMMIT

    1,628,806

     2. 

    CULBERSON

    1,012,500

    3.

    DE WITT

    900,681

     4. 

    KARNES

    829,202

    5.

    WEBB

    756,680

    6.

    REEVES

    598,902

     7. 

    LIVE OAK

    432,796

    8.

    LOVING

    421,909

    9.

    LA SALLE

    346,552

    10. 

    HEMPHILL

    130,445

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for November 2017

    December 11, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,187 original drilling permits in November 2017 compared to 673 in November 2016. The November total included 955 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged well bores and 221 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued November 2017 included 358 oil, 66 gas, 682 oil or gas, 57 injection, zero service and 24 other permits.

    In November 2017, Commission staff processed 388 oil, 74 gas, 29 injection and one other completions compared to 342 oil, 151 gas, 24 injection and one other completions in November 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 6,291; down from 9,923 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of December 8 was 459, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics,  visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – NOVEMBER 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    131

    24

    2

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    71

    27

    11

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    35

    7

    3

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    19

    1

    3

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    10

    3

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    41

    12

    23

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    45

    9

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    59

    49

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    657

    207

    16

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    65

    27

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    33

    17

    2

    (10) PANHANDLE

    21

    5

    14

    TOTAL

    1,187

    388

    74

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website here.

  • RRC Assesses More than $11 Million in Fines in 2017

    December 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $11,077,280 in fines on 3,567 enforcement dockets involving the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety for calendar year 2017.
    These include: 

    • $337,721 in fines assessed in oil and gas protested dockets that went to hearing;
    • $3,980,880 in penalties for Master Default Orders;
    • $2,690,765 in fines for Master Agreed Orders; and;
    • $4,067,914 for Pipeline Damage Prevention penalties. 

    Totals include the Commission’s final enforcement actions for 2017, taken Tuesday during the last Commissioners’ conference of the year. On Tuesday, the RRC assessed $943,217 in fines involving 158 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses. Operators were assessed $769,710 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.
    Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Additionally, for December 2017, operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $40,257 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $133,250 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. 
    Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • EPA Commends RRC Underground Injection Control Program

    RRC Completes Review of Aquifer Exemption Program
    December 05, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas has been commended in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluation for its work protecting underground sources of drinking water. The recognition comes in EPA’s Fiscal Year 2016 End-of-Year evaluation of the RRC’s Underground Injection Control program. 

    UIC Program

    The RRC’s UIC program protects the state’s drinking water through enforcement of EPA-approved rules on permitting, constructing and testing underground injection wells. Among the highlights of the EPA’s evaluation, the RRC is recognized for “more than adequate inspection and monitoring” of Class II injection wells (wells used in oil and gas activities) in Texas. The evaluation also shows the RRC maintains “an outstanding enforcement monitoring program” for these wells. The evaluation also concludes the RRC’s testing and surveillance program for Class II injection wells “exceeds the minimum performance measure.”

    Seismicity

    The EPA evaluation also “highly commends the RRC for its actions to address” seismicity in Texas, “including implementation of changes in permitting and operation requirements” through amendments to RRC rules 9 and 46.  On seismicity, the evaluation concludes, “These regulatory changes solidify RRC authority regarding seismicity related to Class II disposal, include new reporting and operational requirements for operators, and establish new permit application information to address seismic risk.”

    Aquifer Exemption

    In 1982, the EPA gave the RRC primary authority (primacy) over the state’s Class II UIC program. The EPA’s 2016 evaluation states the “RRC is commended for its intensified efforts to address possible injection into aquifers.” The EPA also recommended “continued high prioritization of this effort to identify fields that may produce hydrocarbons from aquifers.” Exempt aquifers include oil and gas reservoirs, which contain water that is not used, nor will potentially be used for drinking water.

    As a part of the RRC’s intensified efforts, the agency conducted a comprehensive review of the RRC’s permitting program for underground injection activities. The Commission reviewed 62,500 permits for underground injection and confirmed no permits were issued for injection into zones determined to be sources of drinking water or potential sources of drinking water.

    Additionally, the Commission has compiled more detailed information on hydrocarbon productive zones that are exempted aquifers, and an internally searchable database to support future regulatory actions.  The Commission has strengthened procedures to ensure future permitting activities are consistent with aquifer exemption requirements. This project has confirmed that the Commission’s UIC program provides substantial and effective groundwater protection in compliance with Section 1425 of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the 1982 primacy agreement between the Commission and EPA.

    To view the staff briefing on the aquifer exemption project presented Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 during the public Commissioners’ Conference, please click here. The briefing can be found under Agenda Item 262.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for September 2017

    December 02, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for September 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 69,238,482 barrels of crude oil and 519,180,463 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for September 2016, was: 71,404,018 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 81,380,845 barrels; and 561,242,466 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 657,952,137 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from October 2016 to September 2017, total Texas reported production was 997.000 million barrels of crude oil and 7.6 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary September 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,307,949 barrels daily, compared to the 2,380,134 barrels daily average of September 2016.

    Texas preliminary September 2017 total gas production averaged 17,306,015 mcf a day, compared to the 18,708,082 mcf daily average of September 2016.

    Texas production in September 2017 came from 179,660 oil wells and 90,530 gas wells.

    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


    TABLE 1
      SEPTEMBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    7,664,186

        2.

    KARNES

    5,018,318

        3.

    UPTON

    3,821,707

        4.

    REEVES

    3,805,631

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,793,976

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,566,214

        7.

    REAGAN

    2,859,848

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,706,092

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,615,961

      10.

    LOVING

    2,510,368


    TABLE 2 – SEPTEMBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    58,314,477

        2.

    TARRANT

    32,276,722

        3.

    MIDLAND

    19,721,095

        4.

    PANOLA

    19,531,458

        5.

    DIMMIT

    18,724,867

        6.

    REEVES

    17,507,079

        7.

    KARNES

    16,466,620

        8.

    LA SALLE

    15,782,561

        9.

    WISE

    13,171,007

      10.

    UPTON

    12,324,425

     
    TABLE 3 – SEPTEMBER 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,311,340

        2.

    CULBERSON

    965,289

        3.

    WEBB

    893,375

        4.

    KARNES

    807,626

        5.

    REEVES

    563,281

        6.

    DEWITT

    525,791

        7.

    LOVING

    408,135

        8.

    LA SALLE

    185,863

        9.

    LIVE OAK

    159,470

      10.

    HEMPHILL

    119,091

November

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Talks Texas’ Role in U.S. Energy Dominance

    November 29, 2017

    AUSTIN  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton spoke today to regulators and members of the energy industry about the enormous energy opportunities Texas possesses at the Oil & Gas Environmental Conference in Houston. With a predictable regulatory environment, record production and increasing exports, Sitton said Texas is poised to fundamentally change how the world views energy. 

    “In early November, U.S. crude oil exports hit an all-time high at 2.13 million barrels per day, departing from ports like Port of Corpus Christi, Port of Houston and Port of Beaumont, all of which had been damaged, restricted or shut down for a time due to Hurricane Harvey,” Sitton said.

    “Worldwide demand for Texas energy will continue to grow as OPEC restrains its production and Texas must be ready to capitalize on the opportunity by enhancing our energy transportation infrastructure and using Texas energy to enhance our economic and national security. No one in the world does a better job of responsibly producing and transporting energy than Texans do.”

    Ryan Sitton


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton: Texas Oil, Gas Production Disrupting Global Energy Landscape, Requires New Mindset

    November 20, 2017

    AUSTIN  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton examined the changing role of natural gas and its importance to global economies, and Texas’ role in America’s energy dominance in an article for the November/December issue of Drilling Contractor Magazine.

     “Prior to the shale boom in 2008, the United States believed it did not have enough natural gas to meet its demand. Import facilities were built to take in natural gas from other countries,” Commissioner Sitton wrote.

    “But now we need to begin thinking differently about the role energy plays in the world. Texas natural gas production, the innovation of our drillers and refined products exports are disrupting the global market, securing our economic growth and national security, and placing the US in a position of energy dominance.” 

    To read the full article, please visit: http://ow.ly/AQte30gHtvX

    Drilling Rig


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Commissioner Christian Addresses TXOGA Energy Summit & Visits RRC Corpus District Office

    November 15, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Commissioner Wayne Christian (R – Texas) gave a keynote address at the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) Energy Summit and visited the Railroad Commission of Texas district office in Corpus Christi.

    “Texas is on the brink of the next oil and gas boom,” said Christian. “It is the hard work of individuals in this room that have helped make the United States once again a world leader in energy production, fueling the Texas economy and state budget.”

    In his speech, Christian discussed his education and workforce initiative and emphasized the importance of training the next generation of skilled employees.

    “One of the biggest threats to the next boom, isn’t a lack of natural resources under the ground, but a shortage of trained employees to meet future demand – this must be addressed,” continued Christian.

    After his speech, Christian visited the Railroad Commission of Texas district office in Corpus Christi where he emphasized the important work done at the district level to ensure the responsible production of oil and gas.

    “The Railroad Commission is not simply three commissioners making decisions down in Austin,” said Christian. “It is an agency of hundreds of hardworking men and women across the state, fighting to ensure Texas remains both prosperous and environmentally safe.”

    You can find photos of the events on our Twitter page at @TxRRC.

     


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Nov. 7 Conference

    November 09, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,813,858 in fines involving 190 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $21,000 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $1,556,108 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $236,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. 
     Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for October 2017

    November 08, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 997 original drilling permits in October 2017 compared to 855 in October 2016. The October total included 885 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 5 to re-enter plugged well bores and 107 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued October 2017 included 236 oil, 46 gas, 646 oil or gas, 48 injection, zero service and 21 other permits.

    In October 2017, Commission staff processed 257 oil, 91 gas, 39 injection and four other completions compared to 445 oil, 203 gas, 20 injection and zero other completions in October 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 5,799; down from 9,405 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of November 2 was 444, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics,  visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – OCTOBER 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    126

    36

    19

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    91

    15

    10

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    34

    10

    5

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    35

    4

    10

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    5

    2

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    34

    1

    18

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    39

    27

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    79

    46

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    440

    83

    16

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    62

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    26

    9

    6

    (10) PANHANDLE

    26

    9

    4

    TOTAL

    997

    257

    91

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Commissioners Approve FY 2018-19 Well Plugging and Site Remediation Plans

    RRC to Plug Up to 3,000 Orphan Wells During Biennium
    November 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – All three Texas Railroad Commissioners today approved the Railroad Commission’s 2018-19 well plugging plan. Under this proposal, the Commission plans to plug up to 3,000 abandoned wells over the biennium. The estimated cost of the well plugging plan is $67 million, which will come from fees paid by oil and gas operators into the Oil & Gas Regulation & Cleanup Fund (OGRC) and the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). No taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for well plugging activities. 

    This year the 85th Texas Legislature approved allowing the Commission to use OGRC and ESF industry fees to plug wells abandoned by operators. The majority of oil and gas operators take care of their own wells, plugging a total of 10,325 in Fiscal Year 2017. 

    The additional support from the Legislature will allow the Commission to substantially increase wells plugged to approximately 1,500 each year of the next biennium compared to 918 abandoned wells plugged in FY17. Since the well plugging program began in 1984, 36,610 abandoned wells have been plugged for $272 million. 

    Additionally, Commissioners approved the RRC’s site remediation section’s plan to complete 259 cleanup activities at abandoned oilfield sites in FY18 using approximately $9 million from the OGRC.

     

  • Christian Applauds Congressman Brady on Ending Electric Car Subsidies in Tax Bill

    November 02, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Commissioner Wayne Christian (R – Texas) applauded Congressman Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for including the elimination of the federal electric vehicle as part of the initial draft on tax-reform. The subsidy pays individuals – through a tax credit program implemented by the IRS – as much as $7,500 to purchase an electric car.

    Earlier this week, Christian sent a letter to Brady and the Texas delegation encouraging them to include this measure in the tax-reform package. You can read his letter here.

    “These Obama-era subsidies circumvent the free-market by picking winners and losers, while doing virtually nothing to tangibly protect the environment,” said Christian.

    “I applaud Congressman Brady and the Texas Delegation for considering my letter and including the removal of this boondoggle as part of the tax-reform package.”

    “This fight is far from over, and this bill has a long way to journey before it makes it to President Trump’s desk but I am encouraged we are having this discussion at the national level,” continued Christian. “Additional subsides exist at a state level, and I hope Texas has a similar discussion prior to the next legislative session.”

    Last Summer, Christian had similar success visiting with Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn about confirming FERC Nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, before the Senate adjourned for its August recess. The lack of quorum had put in danger nearly two dozen pipeline projects totaling nearly $25 billion and 75,000 jobs.

    "I have been impressed with the leadership our Texas delegation in the House and Senate has taken on issues of energy," said Christian. "I look forward to continue to work with them in the future to ensure Texas continues to create jobs and economic growth."

October

  • Commissioner Christian Encourages Congress to End Electric Vehicle Subsidies

    Calls Subsidy an Attack on Energy Industry
    October 31, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Commissioner Wayne Christian (R – Texas) sent a letter to the Texas delegation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate encouraging them to end the federal subsidy for the purchase of zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) as Congress works on finalizing its tax-reform package. 

    In the letter, Christian emphasized that these Obama-era subsidies run counterproductive to the Texas Railroad Commission’s goal of serving Texans through “our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans.” 

    This federal subsidy is nothing more than a feel-good tax break for wealthy environmentalists to help them punish the energy industry that powers our nation,” said Christian.

    “Taxpayers should not be on the hook to finance a subsidy that picks winners and losers, while doing virtually nothing to tangibly protect the environment. I’m proud to regulate this important industry, and when necessary defend it from government attacks cloaked in bad policy.” 

    Congress is expected to unveil their tax-reform plan later this week. 
    You can read his letter here.


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for August 2017

    October 27, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for August 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,178,929 barrels of crude oil and 583,794,409 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for August 2016, was: 75,034,914 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 84,126,401 barrels; and 606,931,065 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 690,612,147 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from July 2016 to August 2017 total Texas reported production was 999 million barrels of crude oil and 7.6 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary August 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,425,127 barrels daily, compared to the 2,420,481 barrels daily average of August 2016.

    Texas preliminary August 2017 total gas production averaged 18,832,078 mcf a day, compared to the 19,578,421 mcf daily average of August 2016.

    Texas production in August 2017 came from 179,726 oil wells and 92,729 gas wells.

    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

    TABLE 1  AUGUST 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    7,609,924

        2.

    KARNES

    5,615,443

        3.

    REEVES

    4,014,360

        4.

    UPTON

    3,905,226

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,890,577

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,588,882

        7.

    LOVING

    3,080,862

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,959,957

        9.

    REAGAN

    2,952,640

      10.

    DEWITT

    2,592,909

     

    TABLE 2 – AUGUST 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    61,943,062

        2.

    TARRANT

    34,889,838

        3.

    DIMMIT

    20,945,948

        4.

    PANOLA

    20,473,931

        5.

    MIDLAND

    19,741,903

        6.

    REEVES

    19,616,145

        7.

    KARNES

    17,916,711

        8.

    JOHNSON

    16,688,038

        9.

    LA SALLE

    15,400,429

      10.

    WISE

    15,201,737


    TABLE 3 – AUGUST 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,438,250

        2.

    CULBERSON

    999,246

        3.

    WEBB

    922,426

        4.

    KARNES

    769,714

        5.

    DEWITT

    703,143

        6.

    REEVES

    577,748

        7.

    LOVING

    401,853

        8.

    LIVE OAK

    224,989

        9.

    LA SALLE

    188,127

      10.

    WHEELER

    184,159

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton: “Nations Around World Are Looking to Texas for Energy”

    October 27, 2017

    AUSTIN  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton participated yesterday afternoon in a Texas power, industry and energy panel at the Texas #AE Industry Conference along with Richard Byrnes, the Chief Port Infrastructure Officer for Port of Houston Authority and Lance Spross, the Director of Engineering Standards and Maintenance Strategy for Oncor.

    Commissioner Sitton discussed the increase in infrastructure, exploration and production and pricing in the new energy paradigm. 

    “Since the crude oil export ban was lifted in 2015, the U.S. has become a major world player in the global energy market, and that isn’t going away any time soon,” Sitton said.

    “In the last 10 years, Texas alone has tripled its daily crude oil production and nearly doubled the amount of natural gas produced each day. We’re at a point in time when nations around the world are depending on Texas for their energy production. Our state has the natural resources, dynamic refineries, world-class export facilities and hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline. When you look at the entire supply chain, and specifically Texas, we are advantaged over anywhere else in the world.” 

    Sitton participated in the event as part of his National Energy Awareness Month initiative. He has traveled throughout October working to educate Texans and non-Texans about the incredible benefits and opportunities created by the state’s abundant crude oil and natural gas.


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Chairman Craddick Highlights RRC Progress for PBPA

    Previews RRC Priorities for Next Year
    October 26, 2017

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today joined members of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) at their 55th annual meeting in Midland to provide an update on current Railroad Commission initiatives and the agency’s plans for the upcoming year.

    “I am so proud of the remarkable progress of our state’s energy industry in oil and gas production, particularly right here in the heart of the Permian Basin,” Craddick said. “The strides you are making are keeping Texas on top, leading the nation in innovative strategies for energy development and critical issues like conserving freshwater.

    “I’m especially proud of the Commission’s role in this effort by prioritizing efficiency and transparency, and ensuring common sense regulation that allows the industry to thrive through safe, responsible energy production,” Craddick said. “To build on our progress, next year, we are focusing on rule revisions and efficiency improvements, measures to retain and attract expert staff, as well as work with the legislature on a better funding structure for the agency. We look forward to your feedback as we begin these important projects.”

    PBPA is the largest regional oil and gas association in the U.S. with over 1,000 members spanning across the nation’s most prolific oil field.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Talks Energy Opportunities at TXOGA Lone Star Energy Forum

    October 20, 2017

    THE WOODLANDS — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today spoke to members of the energy industry, elected officials and academics at the Texas Oil and Gas Association’s Lone Star Energy Forum. The conference explored the growing demand for Texas energy in world markets. 

    “Nations around the world are now looking to Texas to fill their energy needs for things like transportation fuels, heating, cooking and electricity generation,” Sitton said.

    “Texas produces 41 percent more energy than it consumes and that percentage will continue to grow as the energy industry does what it does best — innovate. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to bolster our economy, enhance our national security and provide clean burning, affordable and reliable energy to countries around the world, and we’ve only just begun. Investing in energy transportation infrastructure like ports and pipelines will allow Texas to displace Russian and Middle Eastern energy, making America more competitive.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Talks Energy, Economy, Entrepreneurship with Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

    October 13, 2017

    MONTGOMERY  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today spoke with small business owners at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce “Celebrating Business Leaders with a Purpose: Shaping Montgomery’s Tomorrow” luncheon. 

    “As the founder of a small business, and now a state elected official with a role in the Texas economy, I’ve experienced the challenges that entrepreneurs face and understand how important their work is to our state,” Sitton said.

    “Small businesses account for 99 percent of all Texas employers, and a huge portion of those companies are in the energy industry. After weathering the downturn in 2014, Texas is on the path to recovery and it is critically important that small business owners stay strong, focused and motivated.” 

    In honor of National Energy Awareness Month, Sitton spoke yesterday with the Kiwanis Club of Houston about energy opportunities in Texas. On Wednesday he hosted a tour for Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon of a family-owned oilfield equipment services company where they discussed Hurricane Harvey relief and the resiliency of small businesses.


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Commissioner Christian Visits Midland/Odessa

    October 13, 2017

    MIDLAND – Today, Commissioner Wayne Christian (R –Texas) wrapped up a three-day trip to Midland/Odessa, where he visited with local Railroad Commission staff; checked out the Fasken Oil & Ranch water recycling operations; and toured the Odessa College Electronic Technology program.

    "I always enjoy getting out to our district offices, visiting with staff, and learning about unique challenges faced by both staff and industry across the state," said Commissioner Christian.

    "The Railroad Commission is more than just three elected officials making decisions in Austin. It is an agency of hundreds of hardworking men and women across the state, fighting to ensure Texas remains both prosperous and environmentally safe."

    While in Midland, Christian toured Fasken Oil & Ranch's water recycling operations with RRC’s Midland Oil & Gas District District Director Craig Pearson. Christian saw firsthand why the company won the Chairman's Stewardship award at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission earlier this month.

    Additionally, Christian spent time touring Odessa College's Electronic Technology program, discussing his energy education and workforce development initiative and learning about the unique opportunities available through their programs.

    "The Permian Basin is ground zero for the new energy renaissance the United States is seeing, and operators out here are leading the world in innovation and technology," continued Christian. "It is essential that we continue to train the next generation of our workforce to ensure we are able to take full advantage of the jobs and economic growth that come with the next oil and gas boom."


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Oct. 10 Conference

    October 12, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $171,512 in fines involving 115 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference last week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    One operator was assessed $8,175 in an oil and gas docket that went to hearing. The final order for Oil & Gas Docket 05-0299855 can be found here

    Operators were assessed $6,250 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.
    Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $20,837 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $136,250 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.
    Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here. 

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

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Hosts Harvey Disaster Recovery Tour for Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon

    October 11, 2017

    HOUSTON — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton hosted a tour for Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon of Tejas Tubular, an oilfield equipment company, which applied for SBA disaster relief assistance after suffering damage from Hurricane Harvey. The tour gave SBA Administrator McMahon a firsthand look at how her agency’s disaster relief programs help small businesses rebuild. Administrator McMahon is committed to ensuring businesses impacted by Hurricane Harvey have all the resources they need to continue powering Houston’s economic engine — the energy industry. 

    “It’s hard to fully understand just how imperative disaster relief assistance is for small businesses until you are up close and can see firsthand how the aid will impact the company and it’s employees’ everyday lives,” Sitton said.

    “While the storm may have passed, recovery is far from over in Houston. It speaks volumes to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon that not only is her agency working overtime to provide resources, but she personally wants to meet the men and women of the 2.6 million small businesses who fuel our Texas economy.” 

    Tejas Tubular, an Oil Country Tubular Goods supplier and manufacturer, sustained three-and-a-half-foot flooding and incurred thousands of dollars worth of damage in property, machinery and lost man-hours. Through the SBA’s disaster assistance program, owner, president and CEO Maximo A. Tejeda has applied for a low-interest, long-term loan for physical and economic damage.

    For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance

    Ryan Sitton & Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon

    Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton (right) & Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon (center) receive a tour of Tejas Tubular from plant manager Karthik Nagarajan (left).

     


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for September 2017

    October 11, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 903 original drilling permits in September 2017 compared to 746 in September 2016. The September total included 781 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 16 to re-enter plugged well bores and 106 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued September 2017 included 215 oil, 64 gas, 554 oil or gas, 58 injection, one service and 11 other permits.

    In September 2017, Commission staff processed 318 oil, 101 gas, 40 injection and four other completions compared to 430 oil, 155 gas, 38 injection and seven other completions in September 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 5,408; down from 8,737 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of October 6 was 448, representing about 48 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – SEPTEMBER 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    70

    35

    13

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    89

    19

    10

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    38

    10

    7

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    22

    8

    24

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    8

    2

    8

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    26

    5

    13

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    35

    19

    7

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    68

    76

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    447

    84

    11

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    49

    38

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    27

    11

    4

    (10) PANHANDLE

    24

    11

    4

    TOTAL

    903

    318

    101

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Commissioners Appoint Interim Executive Director

    October 10, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioners Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian today voted unanimously to appoint Wei Wang to serve as interim executive director, effective Oct. 16, 2017. Wang currently serves as the agency’s Chief Financial Officer. Wang will serve in this dual capacity while the Commission conducts a search for a permanent executive director to lead the agency’s day-to-day operations.   

    Chairman Craddick said, “Wei has the experience and institutional knowledge necessary to fulfill the important mission of the agency.  We appreciate his assistance and anticipate the positive impact that his expertise will bring during this transition period.” 

    Commissioner Sitton said, Wei has done a phenomenal job as chief financial officer and I’m confident in his ability to serve as interim executive director. He has been an instrumental member of our leadership team and is fully committed to the Railroad Commission’s mission to serve and protect the public and environment."

    Commissioner Christian said, “Wei has proven himself to be an effective leader at our agency, and has earned the respect of his fellow team members across the Commission. Our agency is in capable hands with Wei in the interim as we move forward with the search for an Executive Director.”  

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton to Highlight National Energy Awareness Month Around the State

    October 05, 2017

    AUSTIN  — In honor of National Energy Awareness Month, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton will travel around the state throughout October educating community and oil and gas groups about the enormous impact of energy on our everyday lives, the importance of an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and the path forward to Texas’ energy dominance. 

    Established in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, National Energy Awareness Month’s purpose is to “promote public awareness of our nation's energy needs and the energy options that are available to us. With strong leadership at all levels of government—and with the sustained cooperation of business, industry, energy providers, and concerned consumers—we can implement the sound energy policies and practices that are essential to America's well-being.” 

    “In my mind, every month is National Energy Awareness Month. Educating Texans about the role of energy in our state’s economy — and advocating for efficient energy production and environmental stewardship — is ongoing,” Sitton said.

    “As Texas exponentially grows its production of clean and reliable energy and establishes the U.S. as a global energy leader, it is increasingly important that the public understands how wind, solar, coal, nuclear, oil and natural gas contribute to our all-of-the-above energy strategy.” 

    Commissioner Sitton will speak with the following organizations:

    • Winstead’s Annual Oil and Gas Seminar (RSVP closed)
    • Kiwani’s Club of Houston 
    • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce 
    • TXOGA Lone Star Energy Forum 
    • Association of Women in Energy 
    • Texas AE Industry Conference 
    • MEEN 381 Undergraduate Seminar at Texas A&M (Closed)

    Commissioner Sitton speaks at the Winstead Oil and Gas Seminar.

    Commissioner Sitton speaks at the Winstead Oil and Gas Seminar.


     

    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.



  • Texas Energy Companies Win Top National Environmental Stewardship Award

    Pioneer and Fasken Recognized for Water Conservation Efforts
    October 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) today announced the winners of its 2017 Chairman’s Stewardship Awards, honoring two Texas energy companies for success in water conservation efforts. Both companies were nominated in their respective categories by the Railroad Commission of Texas.

    The winners are:

    • Fasken Oil and Ranch, Midland, Texas – Small/Independent category;
    • Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, Texas – Environmental Partnership category.

    Fasken Oil and Ranch

    To preserve fresh water resources in the Permian Basin, Fasken began recycling produced water 2013 and using it in its well drilling and cementing processes. By 2014, Fasken was processing 12,000 barrels (barrels per day) of recycled water for use. This process allowed Fasken to discontinue use of fresh water from the Ogallala Aquifer for drilling operations. By the end of June 2014, Fasken completely discontinued using fresh water for drilling and well completion operations. This conserves approximately 2.7 million gallons of fresh water that otherwise would have been used for every well drilled.

    Pioneer Natural Resources

    Pioneer has created Pioneer Water Management, LLC (PWM), a dedicated subsidiary focusing on water conservation and providing non-fresh water supplies to Pioneer’s operations. Among key water conservation programs initiated by PWM:

    • Using treated industrial and municipal wastewater – PWM purchases non-potable, effluent water from multiple sources in Texas. Pioneer contracts with the City of Odessa, Texas to purchase effluent municipal water from the city, reducing the need for fresh water in its operations.
    • Using brackish, non-drinkable groundwater – PWM taps brackish groundwater when possible for use in its operations and continues to add new projects to further increase brackish water usage.
    • Recycling produced water – PWM is continually exploring economically viable solutions for produced water reuse that will provide another significant alternative to fresh water use.

    The Offshore Energy Center (OEC)

    • The Railroad Commission also congratulates The Offshore Energy Center (OEC), based in Houston, Texas, for their selection as the IOGCC's 2017 Energy Education Award recipient. The OEC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes awareness and understanding of the oil and gas industry to the public and academia. The OEC has developed curriculum materials for all grade levels and provides these materials free to schools.

    More information on the IOGCC’s Chairman’s Stewardship Awards is available here. IOGCC is a multi-state government agency that is passionate about advancing the quality of life for all Americans. However, without energy, the quality of life we enjoy today would not exist. That's why the IOGCC works to ensure our nation's oil and natural gas resources are conserved and maximized while protecting health, safety and the environment. Currently, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian serves as Gov. Greg Abbott’s designee representing Texas in the IOGCC.

    Arkansas Gov. & IOGCC Chair Asa Hutchinson & Commissioner Christian with Faskin Oil & Gas winnersArkansas Gov. & IOGCC Chair Asa Hutchinson (Center Right) & Commissioner Christian
    with Faskin Oil & Gas winners

    Commissioner Christian and Pioneer Natural Resources award winners.
    Commissioner Christian and Pioneer Natural Resources award winners.

    Commissioner Christian and Offshore Energy Center award winners.
    Commissioner Christian and Offshore Energy Center award winners.

     

  • Commissioner Christian Kicks Off Energy Awareness Month At Interstate Oil And Gas Compact Commission Annual Meeting

    October 02, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian kicked off “Energy Awareness Month” at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared October National Energy Awareness Month, encouraging government and organizations to raise awareness of the importance regarding sustainably managing the nation’s energy resources. 

    “Most people do not realize how much energy and petroleum products impact their day-to-day lives,” said Christian. “Oil is used to make a lot more than just gasoline. Petroleum is essential for the creation of cosmetics, medicine, asphalt, fabrics, plastics and even many foods. 

    “Texas leads the nation in the production of oil and natural gas, producing more than 2.4 million barrels of crude and 17.25 million MCF of gas per day” continued Christian. “This production has helps keep our energy prices low, while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and fostering economic growth. This energy awareness month, take some time to think about how your life would be different without the energy and petroleum products we take for granted each day.” 

    In April, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Christian the Official Representative of Texas to IOGCC. The IOGCC is one of the oldest and largest interstate compacts in the nation, formed more than 80 years ago when several states joined together to resolve common issues in the industry without federal intervention. 

    Commissioner Christian at 2017 IOGCC Conference
    Commissioner Christian at 2017 IOGCC Conference

    RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian (Left) with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
    RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian (Left) with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

     


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

September

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Sept. 19 Conference

    September 27, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $668,370 in fines involving 269 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference last week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Two operators were assessed $23,000 in two dockets that went to hearing. Once docket is an LP Gas protested enforcement docket, and one is an oil & gas protested enforcement docket. The final order for docket LP Docket No. 02401 can be found here and O&G 09-0302856 can be found here 

    Operators were assessed $220,314 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $131,056 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $294,000 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. 
     Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.


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

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Addresses TPPF Liberty Leadership Council

    September 26, 2017

    Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today spoke with the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s young professionals group, the Liberty Leadership Council, about the impact of the their generation on Texas energy opportunities.

    “We have the opportunity in Texas to provide the world with clean, affordable and reliable energy, and that is largely due to the innovation of Texas energy producers,” Sitton said.

    “There has never been a better time for young leaders to enter the energy industry in our state. The next generation of Texas energy leaders will have the opportunity, through innovation, energy infrastructure investment and hard work to solidify America’s global energy dominance, which is good for our economic and national security interests. I believe they are up to the challenge,” concluded Sitton. 


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Ryan is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is committed to fostering an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Chairman Craddick Meets with National Petroleum Council, Energy Secretary Rick Perry

    Commits to Addressing Energy Infrastructure Challenges, Support for Carbon Capture Technology
    September 26, 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick this week attended the 127th meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC). While in Washington D.C., Craddick met with Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry to discuss support for new technologies and strategies to strengthen the nation's energy industry.

    Secretary Perry submitted a request to NPC members to study two items on behalf of the Council. These priorities include the changing dynamics of oil and gas transportation infrastructure, and potential pathways for better carbon capture, utilization and storage.

    Chairman Craddick said, "Our country's energy industry has achieved unbelievable advancements in innovation over the last decade, maximizing their ability to produce huge volumes of energy while decreasing emissions with clean technologies. The administration in Washington is taking every step necessary to allow for industry modernization and growth, unleashing President Trump's vision of American energy independence. As a member of the NPC, I am proud to support these studies and help drive forward an even brighter future for American energy."

    Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, and Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette also attended the meeting.

    Established by President Harry S. Truman in 1946, the NPC is an advisory body to the Secretary and the Department of Energy, providing advice, information and recommendations on matters related to oil and natural gas and related industries, including governmental response to environmental and energy conservation, technology, legal issues, and emergency situations.

    Christi Craddick and Rick Perry

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • ICYMI: Commissioner Christian Hosts Education & Workforce Development Summit

    September 26, 2017

    AUSTIN– Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian recently hosted an education and workforce development summit, bringing together members of industry, academia and government to make sure we are preparing the workforce of tomorrow, today, to power the energy sector forward. 

    “As Commissioner, it is my job to ensure the safe and reliable production of oil and natural gas, which creates jobs and fuels our economy,” said Christian.

    “One of the biggest threats to these jobs, isn’t a lack of natural resources under the ground, but a shortage of trained employees to meet future demand.” 

    Attending the forum were representatives from the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Association of Community Colleges, Texas Oil and Gas Association, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Texas Pipeline Association, and several oil and gas companies. 

    “Our organizational meeting was a great success, as it connected stakeholders and started an on-going dialogue that I hope to continue in the months and years to come,” continued Christian. “It is important for stakeholders to hear from one another, to ensure our education and training align with the needs of a growing industry and future growth.” 

    If you would like to participate in this initiative, please contact Commissioner Christian’s office at Travis.McCormick@rrc.texas.gov or (512) 463-7134.

    Image of Christian hosting Educational Summit

    image of Christian hosting an Educational Summit


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for July 2017

    September 25, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for July 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,312,470 barrels of crude oil and 534,777,620 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for July 2016, was: 75,496,802 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 84,501,250 barrels; and 611,028,291 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 695,522,864 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from August 2016 to July 2017, total Texas reported production was 994.000 million barrels of crude oil and 7.6 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary July 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,429,435 barrels daily, compared to the 2,435,381 barrels daily average of July 2016.

    Texas preliminary July 2017 total gas production averaged 17,250,891 mcf a day, compared to the 19,710,590 mcf daily average of July 2016.

    Texas production in July 2017 came from 178,470 oil wells and 92,748 gas wells.

    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


    TABLE 1
      JULY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    7,570,280

        2.

    KARNES

    5,480,165

        3.

    REEVES

    4,164,677

        4.

    MARTIN

    3,842,377

        5.

    UPTON

    3,799,936

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,670,339

        7.

    DEWITT

    3,291,137

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,989,548

        9.

    LOVING

    2,705,573

      10.

    REAGAN

    2,644,829

     
    TABLE 2 – JULY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    38,173,790

        2.

    TARRANT

    33,035,969

        3.

    PANOLA

    20,970,052

        4.

    REEVES

    19,793,323

        5.

    KARNES

    19,370,834

        6.

    MIDLAND

    18,652,397

        7.

    DEWITT

    16,822,185

        8.

    WISE

    13,952,263

        9.

    LOVING

    12,965,824

      10.

    CULBERSON

    12,790,431

     
    TABLE 3 – JULY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,786,222

        2.

    CULBERSON

    984,196

        3.

    KARNES

    973,432

        4.

    DEWITT

    822,367

        5.

    WEBB

    746,234

        6.

    REEVES

    604,113

        7.

    LOVING

    364,681

        8.

    LIVE OAK

    248,609

        9.

    LA SALLE

    248,102

      10.

    HEMPHILL

    156,919

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton: Texas is the Key to America's Energy Security

    September 22, 2017

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today talked with members of the Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs — a nonprofit professional development organization for those in the energy industry — about the far-reaching impact of Texas’ natural resources.

    “Texas is the key to America’s energy security,” Sitton said.

    “In this new energy paradigm, foreign nations are increasingly looking less to OPEC and more to Texas for crude oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons. No where on Earth is there a more dynamic place to produce energy – we not only have the resources, but also the pipelines, ports and regulatory environment that allow us to meet the energy needs of Texas and the world.”


    Commissioner Sitton later spoke to the 2017 Railroad Commission and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration joint annual training.


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Chairman Craddick Underscores Importance of Smart Regulation to Grow Energy Industry

    Emphasizes Environmental Protection and Economic Growth to Dallas and Kansas City Federal Reserves
    September 22, 2017

    Oklahoma City, OK – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today highlighted the importance of smart regulatory policy in creating an environment for strong growth in the energy industry. She made her comments at a joint conference of the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and Kansas City, during their 2017 Energy Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    “Striking the right balance between strong regulation and a strong energy policy, as we’ve done in Texas, means we protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to succeed,” Craddick said.

    “Our regulatory structure gives industry the certainty it needs to invest their dollars in job creation, industry innovation and expansion, which results in safe and responsible production of our natural resources.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Discusses Opportunities in Energy at Gulf Coast Industry Forum

    September 21, 2017

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today gave the keynote address at the Gulf Coast Industry Forum, which brought together Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Senator Ted Cruz, Congressmen Pete Olson and Randy Weber, and hundreds of professionals to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the energy industry.

    “Because of what we’re doing in Texas, the U.S. is seeing more opportunities in energy than we have in over 50 years,” Sitton said.

    “With our infrastructure and expertise, America is producing energy cleaner and more efficiently than anyone else, which is why countries who are increasing their energy consumption, like China, Pakistan and India, are looking to the U.S. to meet their growing demand. If we continue to invest in our ports, pipelines and refineries, our generation’s legacy will be establishing the U.S. as a global energy powerhouse.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Chairman Craddick: Panhandle Producers are Essential to Texas’ Economic Success

    September 20, 2017

    AMARILLO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today addressed RRC’s emphasis on common sense energy regulation at the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association (PPROA) 88th Convention and Annual Meeting in Amarillo.

    “Thank you to all of you who invest in the business of energy development, an industry that is critical to the economic success of our state and our country,” Craddick said.

    “Thanks to your efforts, our state’s energy producers, big and small, are setting the standard for American energy production, and Texas’ Panhandle producers play an important role.

    “Even through the recent downturn, the Texas oil and gas industry has shown extraordinary resilience,” Craddick said. “When times were tough, the industry did what it does best – innovate. Because of your ingenuity, we’re seeing industry growth today despite the price of oil. I will ensure our rules at the Railroad Commission will allow you to continue to safely find ways to grow and thrive.”

    PPROA was founded in 1929 as an industry association advocating on behalf of oil and gas producers, mineral royalty owners and industry support companies in the Texas Panhandle, Western Oklahoma and Southwestern Kansas.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Discusses Texas-Mexico Opportunities at Border Trade Advisory Committee Meeting

    September 19, 2017

    AUSTIN  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today met with Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, local government officials, academics, and members of the private sector to discuss the importance of Mexico’s energy sector reforms and potential opportunities for Texas-Mexico trade. 

    The Border Trade Advisory Committee advises the Texas Department of Transportation on trade issues, priorities and projects and funding needs to support the state's robust economy and global competitiveness. The focus of the quarterly meeting mirrored a recent panel moderated by Sec. Pablos, which highlighted the critical importance of the Texas-Mexico trade alliance. 

    “We have an incredible opportunity in Texas to provide Mexico with much-needed energy resources while stimulating our own economy,” Sitton said.

    “Right now, Mexico imports about 112,000 million cubic feet of natural gas each month from Texas via pipeline. By 2019, U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico will double, and that means more money for our schools, roads, hospitals and economy. Mexico’s energy reforms and demand coupled with near historic highs in U.S. production are creating an enormous opportunity from which both countries will benefit.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for August 2017

    September 11, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,125 original drilling permits in August 2017 compared to 660 in August 2016. The August total included 987 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 14 to re-enter plugged well bores and 124 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued August 2017 included 298 oil, 74 gas, 666 oil or gas, 64 injection, two service and 21 other permits.

    In August 2017, Commission staff processed 401 oil, 115 gas, 38 injection and three other completions compared to 545 oil, 223 gas, 46 injection and eight other completions in August 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 8,628; up from 4,830 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of September 8 was 455, representing about 48 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – AUGUST 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    123

    17

    13

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    80

    4

    17

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    48

    17

    26

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    21

    3

    5

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    8

    5

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    35

    2

    38

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    36

    15

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    67

    37

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    550

    245

    6

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    73

    39

    1

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    49

    11

    2

    (10) PANHANDLE

    35

    6

    4

    TOTAL

    1,125

    401

    115

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Reminds Texans to Call 811 Before Rebuilding After Harvey

    September 08, 2017

    AUSTIN – As Texans begin to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, it is an important time to remind the public they must call 811 before digging and follow safe practices to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. The 811 call to one-call notification centers prompts pipeline operators to mark their underground pipelines in a requested area, making building projects safe.

    The top cause of pipeline accidents in Texas is failure to call 811 so underground utilities can be marked before digging or excavating. Nearly 25 percent of pipeline damage is caused by people digging with hand tools, such as shovels.

    “Don’t gamble with your safety; call 811 so you don’t have to call 911,” said Jamie Renard, Pipeline Damage Prevention Manager.

    “The depth of pipelines can vary due to a number of factors, including possible erosion caused by Harvey. The vast majority of these incidents are minor and do not cause injuries, but we want to keep families and neighborhoods safe as Texas begins to rebuild.”

    With almost 440,000 miles of active pipelines to support the state’s energy needs, Texas has more miles of pipeline than any other state. It is critical that all Texans are aware of this vital underground infrastructure and the importance of calling 811 before digging to reduce the risk of striking a pipeline.

    The call to 811 is free and must be made at least two business days before digging. Homeowners, excavators and contractors who call 811 are connected to one of the two state One-Call Centers operating in Texas. The One-Call Center then notifies underground facility operators, including pipelines. Locator personnel are dispatched to the digging site to mark the locations of underground pipelines and utilities with flags, spray paint or both.

    More information can be found on the Commission’s website here.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton’s Statement Regarding the Status of Texas’ Gasoline Supply

    in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey Panic Buying
    September 06, 2017

    AUSTIN — Today Commissioner Ryan Sitton released the following statement regarding the status of Texas' gasoline supply in the wake of Hurricane Harvey panic buying:

    "Texas' energy infrastructure is recovering quickly from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The industry and state and federal governments have worked expeditiously to ensure that citizens' energy needs are met, primarily at the gas pump."

    "As I've said since last week, unfortunately, hoarding and panic buying have placed unnecessary strains on gasoline supplies at pumps in certain pockets of Texas, but the situation continues to improve and will likely be resolved within the next day or two."

    "As a reminder, with 230 million barrels of refined products in storage in the United States, we do not have a gasoline shortage but some areas have experienced outages at gas pumps due to exponentially higher demand than normal as people stockpile fuel.

    Several Texas refineries have restarted although a few remain closed as assessments are completed. Pipeline infrastructure including the Magellan, Explorer and Colonial pipelines are all operational again. In response to the rush on gas stations, the industry has moved very rapidly to ensure gasoline gets to pumps. For example, Magellan has resumed delivering gas from its East Houston Terminal into the DFW and West Texas markets and was continuing to supply those areas from its reversed segment with refined products from Oklahoma refineries. Valero has fed additional supply into the DFW market from its Ardmore and McKee refineries and a key pipeline from the Corpus Christi refineries is transporting gasoline to the San Antonio and DFW areas. Other companies continue to have supply trucks working around the clock to get gasoline from terminals to local gas stations. Consumers should remember that the last few miles of the gasoline supply chain requires trucks to take the product from terminals to the pumps. This is not an instantaneous process. It takes time but they are making great progress at refueling stations across the state. We expect that most areas will see gas stations back in operation in the next 24 to 48 hours, with a few pockets around the state possibly extending beyond.

    Governor Abbott has taken several steps to address gasoline supply chain issues including allowing out-of-state trucks to fill needs in Texas and the EPA has waived summer gasoline requirements for refiners which will make it easier to get refined products into pipelines quickly. The industry has brought oil and gas production in the Eagle Ford shale and Gulf Coast back online and most, if not all of that production, will be fully restored by weeks end.

    Texans should remember that due to safety requirements, one must have a license to sell gasoline. To those buying large volumes of gasoline to turn around and sell at a premium, that is “black market” gasoline sales, and it is a violation of the law. It contributes to the gasoline panic, and I expect it will be fully prosecuted by authorities.

    All of Texas is rightly focused on rebuilding the areas directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey and assisting our fellow citizens in need. One of the things every Texan can do to help is to fill up if you need to, but not to hoard fuel which is dangerous and hurts everyone else. This situation will be resolved this week if people purchase gas in a thoughtful and responsible manner."


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • RRC Grants Waivers, Takes Actions to Speed Hurricane Harvey Recovery

    September 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) today announced several actions to speed recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. These actions will permit energy industry operators under RRC jurisdiction to focus on restoring operations as quickly as possible without compromising public safety and environmental protection.  

    Among the actions taken by the RRC: 

    • Temporary administrative filing and reporting options for oil and gas operators impacted by Hurricane Harvey – The RRC’s P-5 Financial Assurance Department will delay severances for Form P-5 Organization Reports due Sept. 1, 2017 and Oct. 1, 2017. Rather than issuing severances for delinquent Form P-5 after the normal requirement of 30 days, the department will issue severances 60 days after the Form P-5 due date. Additionally, Rule 15 inactive well requirements, as well as all other administrative filings or reports will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 
    • Waivers permitting pipeline operators to use out-of-state personnel to participate in emergency response operations resulting from Hurricane Harvey – These waivers will be granted by the RRC on a case-by-case basis, for a period not to exceed 30 days, with possible extensions. The RRC enforces rules addressing operator qualifications established by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA agrees with RRC action. Pipeline operators granted this waiver are required to track the covered tasks and locations performed by any non-qualified and/or other assigned personnel (including out-of-state) for the duration of the waiver. 
    • Waiver of certain licensing requirements for liquified petroleum gas (LP-gas) activities, employee certifications and vehicle operations – This is a blanket waiver granted by the Governor of Texas at the request of the RRC. This waiver temporarily reduces the regulations for operation of some LP-gas containers and system activities, certifications required for LP-gas workers and vehicles transporting LP-gas. Where applicable, licensing, certification and inspection requirements in an employee or vehicle’s home state must be met. Written notice to the Commission is required prior to any entity acting under this waiver. 

    Chairman Christi Craddick said, “As Texans recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, partnerships across all levels of government are assisting with critical recovery processes. In an effort to provide relief to our state's energy industry and help to speed up recovery operations in the energy sector, the Railroad Commission is taking action to extend deadlines on administrative paperwork and temporarily waive requirements while operators focus on safely getting oil and gas production back online. Texans are showing extraordinary resilience through this exceptionally difficult time, and the Railroad Commission is doing its part to support a strong recovery for our state.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Hurricane Harvey has been devastating, and I remain concerned for the safety of our friends and families in impacted communities all across Texas in the wake of this storm. As Texas continues rescue efforts and begins recovery, the Railroad Commission acknowledges the challenge operators face with regulatory filings, and are extending deadlines to provide relief. Our number one priority is public and environmental safety, and we continue to require operators to report spills, leaks or other incidents. I am incredibly proud of how Texans have come together to help one another and so appreciative of the efforts of Governor Abbott, members of Congress and the federal government agencies responding to this catastrophe.” 

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “From rescue operations in flooded neighborhoods to providing warm meals for those displaced, Texans have stepped up and provided for their friends, neighbors, and even strangers during this time of great need. As Texans continue to come together and rebuild in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the last thing we want anyone to have to worry about is late paperwork. I am proud to support this common-sense measure to provide relief to operators that have been impacted by this hurricane.” 

     

August

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for June 2017

    August 29, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for June 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,254,080 barrels of crude oil and 591,408,525 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for June 2016, was: 72,856,376 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 81,526,874 barrels; and 604,263,761 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 679,880,812 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from July 2016 to June 2017, total Texas reported production was 995 million barrels of crude oil and 7.8 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary June 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,508,469 barrels daily, compared to the 2,428,546 barrels daily average of June 2016.

    Texas preliminary June 2017 total gas production averaged 19,713,618 mcf a day, compared to the 20,142,125 mcf daily average of June 2016.

    Texas production in June 2017 came from 181,062 oil wells and 91,357 gas wells.

    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

     
    TABLE 1  JUNE 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    7,066,711

        2.

    KARNES

    5,674,034

        3.

    LA SALLE

    3,834,745

        4.

    UPTON

    3,738,656

        5.

    REEVES

    3,734,493

        6.

    MARTIN

    3,673,090

        7.

    DEWITT

    3,359,589

        8.

    ANDREWS

    3,027,408

        9.

    LOVING

    2,831,370

      10.

    REAGAN

    2,629,321


    TABLE 2 – JUNE 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    62,942,043

        2.

    TARRANT

    36,154,963

        3.

    DIMMIT

    21,859,236

        4.

    PANOLA

    20,459,819

        5.

    KARNES

    18,873,343

        6.

    REEVES

    18,356,607

        7.

    JOHNSON

    16,917,810

        8.

    MIDLAND

    16,831,156

        9.

    DEWITT

    16,731,822

      10.

    LA SALLE

    15,345,461


    TABLE 3 – JUNE 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,753,966

        2.

    CULBERSON

    1,064,782

        3.

    WEBB

    921,349

        4.

    KARNES

    871,418

        5.

    DEWITT

    796,887

        6.

    REEVES

    612,910

        7.

    LOVING

    284,568

        8.

    LIVE OAK

    242,897

        9.

    LA SALLE

    192,150

      10.

    WHEELER

    189,334

  • Statement by Chairman Christi Craddick

    on RRC Readiness and Response to Hurricane Harvey
    August 28, 2017

    AUSTIN—Please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s statement below regarding the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) efforts during Hurricane Harvey:

    “Railroad Commission personnel continue to staff the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s State Operations Center (SOC) to assist Texas leaders with response to Hurricane Harvey,” Chairman Craddick said.

    “RRC district offices in Corpus Christi and San Antonio are open and assisting the public and energy operators with their needs during this disaster. The Railroad Commission’s Houston office remains closed for the safety of our staff.

    “The RRC urges anyone with information on an oil spill or release to contact our 24-hour, toll free emergency hotline at 1-844-773-0305. We will dispatch RRC inspectors to reported incidents as soon as is safe to do so. As a reminder, oil and gas operators are required to report to the RRC any spills into water.

    “Protecting public safety and the environment in Texas is always our top priority, and I’m extremely proud of the commitment to our mission RRC staff are showing during this critical time,” Chairman Craddick said.

     

    RRC Contact Information:

    Main Number: (877) 228-5740

    Emergency Number:  1-844-773-0305

    Houston District Office: (713) 869-5001 (This line will be answered while office is closed.)

    San Antonio District Office: (210) 227-1313

    Corpus Christi District Office: (361) 242-3113 

    Public E-mail Inquiries: publicassist@rrc.texas.gov 

     

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Tells Industry Council on the Environment, “Technology, Not Regulations, to Thank for U.S. Reduced Emissions”

    August 24, 2017

    HOUSTON  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton addressed the role of technology in the energy industry and its impact on U.S. emissions at the Industry Council on the Environment (ICE) luncheon today in Houston. 

    As an advisory group made up of engineers and environmental consultants, ICE works directly with government and industry to promote the development, understanding and use of reasonable environmental policy. 

    “As the U.S. is exponentially growing its production of clean and reliable energy like natural gas, we are also significantly reducing emissions and providing clean energy to our allies overseas,” Sitton said.

    “The U.S. decreased emissions by 15 percent between 2005 and 2016 not because of the Paris Accord or Clean Power Plan, but because of technological advancements from the industry, like hydraulic fracturing. This technique has allowed producers to unlock shale plays and develop abundant natural gas reserves, which are now being shipped from our ports to more than 20 countries around the world. Hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. has created thousands of jobs, enhanced our economic and national security, and reduced emissions from electric generation facilities.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Notice to Operators: Tropical Depression Harvey

    August 23, 2017

    AUSTIN – The National Hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Depression Harvey in the western Gulf of Mexico. Landfall is forecast later this week along the Texas Gulf Coast, with possible severe weather impacting the entire Texas Coast and areas inland. 

    From the Texas Division of Emergency Management: 

    This system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Texas and Louisiana into early next week. Harvey could also produce storm surge and tropical storm or hurricane force winds along portions of the Texas coast later this week, and Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches could be required later today for portions of the coast of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and southwestern Louisiana. Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of this system and refer to products issued by your local National Weather Service office for more information. 

    The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) advises all operators under the RRC’s jurisdiction in areas of potential impact to take the following actions: 

    • Monitor local, state and national weather reports for updates on potential severe weather impacts, including the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center and Texas Division of Emergency Management;
    • Heed all watches, warnings, and orders issued by local emergency officials;
    • Secure all personnel, equipment, and facilities to prevent injury or damage; and,
    • Monitor operations for potential impacts, as safety permits. 

    In the event of a leak or spill, operators are reminded RRC rules require: 

    • Immediate notification to the RRC of a leak or spill into water;
    • Containment of a leak or spill; and,
    • Clean up and remediation of any area impacted by a leak or spill. 

    The RRC maintains a 24-hour, toll free emergency line; 844-773-0305 to report leaks or spills.

  • Commissioner Christian Tours East Texas RRC Operations

    August 22, 2017

    KILGORE–Commissioner Wayne Christian (R –Texas) today toured oil and gas cleanup sites in East Texas while visiting the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) district office in Kilgore. During his visit, Christian emphasized the important work done at the district level to ensure the responsible production of oil and gas. 

    “The Railroad Commission is not simply three commissioners making decisions down in Austin,” said Christian. “It is an agency of hundreds of hardworking men and women across the state, fighting to ensure Texas remains both prosperous and environmentally safe.” 

    Christian toured two abandoned oil and gas sites where cleanup operations are ongoing. Clean up at each site is expected to exceed one million dollars. No taxpayer funds will be used to pay for the cleanup operations. Funding for both projects comes from the Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund (OGRC), which is made up of production tax, fees and penalties paid to the RRC by oil and gas industry operators. 

    “It is important to always remember that everyone in the state from oil and gas producers to environmentalists are our constituents,” continued Christian. “The work done at the district-level has helped ensure the Texas Miracle remains alive and well.” 

    While in Kilgore, Commissioner Christian took time to thank District Office staff for their commitment and dedication to serving the RRC and Texas. He also spent time in the community at the East Texas Oil Museum at Kilgore College to view re-creations of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s, and at the popular CountryTavern BBQ.




    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Recognizes Impact of Mexico on Texas’ Energy Economy

    August 21, 2017

    SAN ANTONIO  — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton discussed the importance of Mexico to the success of the Texas energy economy during a panel hosted by the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos (AEM) on Aug. 21.

    The panel, entitled “Energy: A Connecting Sector Between Texas and Mexico,” brought together Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos as moderator; Mexico Energy Regulatory Commissioner Guillermo Garcia Alcocer; ERCOT CEO & President Bill Magness; and Commissioner Sitton.

    “We have an incredible opportunity in Texas to provide Mexico with much-needed energy resources while stimulating our own economy,” Sitton said. “Right now, Mexico imports 60 percent of its natural gas from the U.S., most of which comes from Texas. By 2019, U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico will double, and that means more money for our schools, roads, hospitals and economy. Mexico’s energy reforms and demand coupled with near historic highs in U.S. production are creating an enormous opportunity from which both countries will benefit.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Says Offshore Energy Development is Key to Global Energy Dominance

    August 18, 2017

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton stressed the importance of energy exploration, leasing and development in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). As an energy regulator in the No. 1 energy-producing state, Sitton urged the BOEM to include all 26 OCS planning areas in the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas (OCS) Leasing Program.

    Whereas the U.S. was at an enormous disadvantage under the Obama Administration – which barred 94 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf from development – the current federal administration understands the tremendous opportunity before the U.S. to safely and responsibly develop our natural resources, and use those resources to become a global energy powerhouse once again.


    “Before being elected to office, I was blessed to have started and grown a business, and created hundreds of jobs. As an entrepreneur, it is clear to me that tapping into these recoverable reserves makes perfect economic and business sense for our nation,” Sitton wrote.

    “To enhance America’s economic and national security interests, we need to responsibly develop ALL energy sources. A robust OCS Leasing Program is key to unlocking important reserves that will create jobs, provide huge economic benefits and keep America safe.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Craddick: Expanding Offshore Energy Exploration Critical to Texas, U.S. Energy Security

    August 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today urged the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to include all 26 Outer Continental Shelf planning areas in the development of a new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024.

    “U.S. federal waters contain approximately 148 billion barrels of oil equivalent in undiscovered resources, which is enough energy to meet the nation’s oil and natural gas needs for more than a decade,” Craddick said in a letter to BOEM.

    “By expanding access in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and the Gulf States will continue to supply Americans with reliable, U.S. crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. This means Texas businesses and families spend less on energy and more on goods, services, and investments that are vital to maintaining and enhancing our economy and standard of living.

    “In FY 2014, offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico generated over $64 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 650,000 jobs, including 193,000 jobs and over $20 billion in GDP for Texas, greatly benefitting the Texas economy,” Craddick said.

    Quest Offshore Resources, estimates an increase in Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas activity could support more than 62,000 jobs and over $5 billion in annual GDP for Texas alone.

    “One of the great benefits of the shale revolution has been our ability to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy, enabling us to export our vast resources to allies overseas,” Craddick said. “Indeed, energy policy is foreign policy, and expanded access to American energy is good for American interests.”

    Chairman Craddick’s letter is in response to BOEM’s request for comments on the preparation of a new National OCS Program, and can be read in full here. Upon completion, the National OCS Program for 2019-2024 will replace the National OCS Program for 2017-2022, which was approved on Jan. 17, 2017, and will succeed the National OCS Program for 2012-2017 on July 1, 2017.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Announces Letter of Support for Ship Channel Improvement Project

    August 17, 2017

    CORPUS CHRISTI — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton announced his letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project at a press conference on Aug. 16. 

    The project, which will deepen the 36-mile ship channel to 52 feet (MLT) Mean Low Tide from the current 45 feet MLT, is critically important to the people of Texas, America’s energy industry and the nation’s economic and national security. Furthermore, Texas economists have predicted that expanded crude oil exports could result in 30,000 additional jobs in Corpus Christi alone. 

    “Energy exports of oil, liquefied natural gas, chemicals and refined products hold enormous opportunities for our country in terms of our economic and national security,” Sitton said.

    “The U.S. is poised to dominate global markets in this new energy paradigm, but a lack of appropriate transportation infrastructure could hamper our ability to realize our economic potential to fill the world’s needs for American energy. We must make investments in pipelines and the ship channel improvement project so that as production rises, we have the ability to safely and efficiently move those products around the globe.” 

    Charles Zahn, Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission, spoke at the event, stressing the importance of the Ship Channel Improvement Project to the nation. 

    “The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project represents a top priority on the port’s list of infrastructure improvements. The Port of Corpus Christi is the only port in the Gulf with federal authorization to go to 54 feet,” Zahn said. “As the United States’ number one crude oil export port, the Port of Corpus Christi is the premier energy port in the nation. Port officials look far into the future to ensure this port remains a front-runner in the energy realm. The deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel ensures energy security, and secures our nation’s role as an export leader for years to come.” 

    In light of the national significance of the Port of Corpus Christi to the energy industry, Mayor Joe McComb read a proclamation declaring August 16 as Port of Corpus Christi Energy Day

    Following the press conference, Commissioner Sitton gave a keynote address at the Eagle Ford Consortium discussing Texas’ role in the nation’s quest for energy dominance.


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Aug. 15 Conference

    August 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $949,983 in fines involving 323 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Three operators were assessed $202,376 in six oil & gas protested enforcement dockets that went to hearing. The final orders for dockets 7B-0294231; 7B-0298247; 09-0295358; 7B-0297022; 7B-0302496 and 03-0302351 can be found here.  

    Operators were assessed $266,659.50 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $71,760 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $409,187.50 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for July 2017

    August 10, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,011 original drilling permits in July 2017 compared to 631 in July 2016. The July total included 893 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged well bores and 108 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued July 2017 included 273 oil, 77 gas, 601 oil or gas, 53 injection, zero service and seven other permits.

    In July 2017, Commission staff processed 437 oil, 50 gas, 27 injection and two other completions compared to 568 oil, 243 gas, 44 injection and one other completions in July 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 4,388; down from 7,285 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of August 4 was 466, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics,  visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – JULY 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    120

    54

    12

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    61

    19

    7

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    35

    12

    11

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    14

    3

    5

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    4

    4

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    49

    3

    3

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    41

    16

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    82

    58

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    482

    225

    4

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    47

    28

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    42

    4

    0

    (10) PANHANDLE

    35

    11

    3

    TOTAL

    1,011

    437

    50

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commission of Texas Announces New Seismologist

    August 08, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) today announced Dr. Aaron Velasco will serve the agency as RRC seismologist. Dr. Velasco is a professor of Geological Sciences and Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives at the University of Texas – El Paso (UTEP). He will continue to serve in his capacity as an educator and researcher at UTEP.

    "I congratulate Dr. Velasco on his selection as our new staff seismologist at the Railroad Commission of Texas," Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick said.

    "His expertise in the study of seismology will be an asset to the agency and the state. I also want to thank Dr. Craig Pearson for his time and dedication to the Commission in serving as our very first seismologist. Dr. Pearson was instrumental in the development and implementation of some of the most stringent and comprehensive rules in the nation related to the issue of induced seismicity, and we are grateful to have had his knowledge and counsel at such an important time."

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “The Railroad Commission takes the issue of induced seismicity very seriously. I look forward to working with Dr. Velasco to continue to ensure we have necessary procedures in place to minimize and mitigate potential risks. I’ve personally attended meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee and feel confident that the work BEG and other academic institutions are doing will help us better understand the science around this important issue. Dr. Velasco is an important addition to the team who has been working on this issue since I joined the Commission.”

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “I welcome Dr. Velasco to the Railroad Commission of Texas and look forward to working with him to ensure the safe and reliable production of oil and gas in our great state. There is nothing more important to me than the safety of our citizens.”

    As the RRC’s seismologist, Dr. Velasco will serve on the Governor’s Technical Advisory Committee for the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program run by the University of Texas – Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology. He will also work with RRC staff in reviewing disposal well permit applications in areas of historic seismicity to ensure proper requirements are in place to prevent or minimize the potential for induced seismic activity. Additionally, Dr. Velasco will serve in an advisory capacity to the RRC on issues and policy related to seismicity and energy production in Texas. 

    “The Railroad Commission is considered a global leader in energy regulation, and I’m honored and humbled to serve my fellow Texans and this historic agency as RRC seismologist,” Dr. Velasco said. “I share the agency’s mission to protect public safety and the environment, and I will do that by putting my years of experience and research in seismology and understanding to work for Texas.”

    UTEP President Diana Natalico said, “Dr. Velasco’s expertise in seismology and geology will enable him to contribute unique and valuable perspectives to the work of the Railroad Commission of Texas. In addition to their teaching and research, UTEP faculty members like Dr. Velasco help inform public policy issues at local, state and national levels and validate UTEP’s growing reputation as a public research university.”

    Dr. Velasco earned his Bachelor of Science degree in applied geophysics from the University of California – Los Angeles in 1988 and his doctorate in geophysics from the University of California – Santa Cruz in 1993. He has held several teaching positions at UTEP since joining the university faculty in 2002. Prior to UTEP, Dr. Velasco held several technical and research positions, including work at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. 

    Dr. Velasco
    Dr. Aaron Velasco: Photo Courtesy of UTEP Communications

  • Commissioner Christian Applauds Senate On Confirming FERC Nominees Before Deadline

    August 04, 2017

    AUSTIN– Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded the U.S. Senate for confirming FERC nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, before the Senate adjourned for its August recess.  

    “First, and foremost, I would like to thank U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz for working with our office and fighting to get these nominations confirmed before the deadline,” said Christian. “Confirmation of these two nominees will restore a quorum and allow the commission to get back to work and approve critical energy infrastructure projects in Texas and across the nation.” 


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Aug. 1 Conference

    August 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $531,291 in fines involving 345 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $21,000 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $104,291 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $406,000 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. 
     Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • RRC Increases Public Access to Legal Hearings Process

    Commission Streamlines Administrative Hearings Rules
    August 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission today approved updated procedures for its administrative hearings process. The changes make it easier for anyone, including members of the public representing themselves, to prepare for and participate in hearings. The rule changes become effective Aug. 21. 

    Approximately 50 percent of hearings at the Commission involve people representing themselves without an attorney, said RRC’s Hearings Division Director Randall Collins. 

    “We want the public and anyone else participating in administrative hearings before the Commission to have the greatest possible access to this important legal process. These rule updates bring greater consistency with legislative changes made to the Administrative Procedure Act, and make our processes clearer and easier to follow,” Collins said. 

    Anyone determined to have standing in a case may participate in an RRC hearing on matters including, but not limited to enforcement actions, oil and gas facility permits, gas utility rate cases and surface mining applications. RRC hearings provide participants an opportunity for due process and have the effect of law. 

    Among key changes, the rule updates now allow for electronic service of documents and the filing of smaller pleadings by email and fax with the Commission’s docket services. The changes also reorder the rules in the Texas Administrative Code, making them easier to understand. All the changes were made following an open public comment period on Chapter 1 of 16 Texas Administrative Code, which contains the RRC’s rules and regulations governing the agency’s practices and procedures. 

July

  • Commissioner Christian Encourages U.S. Senate to Confirm FERC Nominees

    July 26, 2017

    AUSTIN– Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian today sent a letter to U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz expressing the importance of confirming Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, before the Senate adjourns for its August recess. 

    In his letter, Commissioner Christian explained that for the first time in 40 years, FERC lacks the proper number of members to meet a quorum. Without a voting quorum, FERC cannot approve energy infrastructure projects for the benefit of energy development in our country. 

    “If the Senate fails to act, nearly two dozen pipeline projects totaling nearly $25 billion in investments and 75,000 jobs are at risk,” said Christian. “Confirmation of these two nominees will restore a quorum to the commission and allow it to conduct business so these critical projects can move forward. 

    “It is essential that the Senate move forward with the nomination of these two individuals before August recess,” continued Christian.  “Tens of millions of investor dollars and thousands of well-paying jobs are on hold while these projects sit in limbo, awaiting approval from FERC. The economic consequences resulting from the delay in confirming the FERC nominees is a tremendous and unnecessary waste to the American taxpayer.”


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Chairman Craddick: “Vital for Energy Infrastructure to Keep Pace with Growing Domestic Oil, Gas Production”

    July 25, 2017

    ASPEN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick this week led a discussion with industry experts on the importance of keeping the development of the nation’s energy infrastructure on pace with thriving domestic oil and gas production at the Aspen Institute’s 2017 Global Energy, Economy and Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.

    “The recent expansion of domestic energy production in Texas and across the country has created new, high demand for infrastructure to transport our growing energy supply to consumers,” Craddick said.

    “Over the last few years in Texas, our pipeline mileage has increased exponentially, and our ports have seen billions of dollars of investment related to the export of oil, liquid natural gas and other petrochemicals.

    “The current energy opportunity presents us with a challenge,” Craddick said. “If we want domestic energy production to continue to grow, we need sound policies that allow for the timely expansion of our nation’s energy infrastructure. This essential infrastructure will support our economy for the long-term future by allowing us to develop our domestic energy resources to their full potential, providing consumers with low-cost energy options, and reaching energy independence while also supplying energy to our allies overseas.”

    The forum is an annual convening of nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public to discuss changes in global energy markets and the strong links between energy and national economic and security concerns.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for May 2017

    July 21, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for May 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 76,381,908 barrels of crude oil and 560,452,280 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for May 2016, was: 73,131,246 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 84,500,034 barrels; and 600,746,804 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 702,548,969 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from June 2016 to May 2017, total Texas reported production was 988 million barrels of crude oil and 7.7 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary May 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,463,933 barrels daily, compared to the 2,359,072 barrels daily average of May 2016.

    Texas preliminary May 2017 total gas production averaged 18,079,106 mcf a day, compared to the 19,378,929 mcf daily average of May 2016.

    Texas production in May 2017 came from 179,857 oil wells and 93,397 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the Commission’s Oil & Gas Monthly Production web page

    TABLE 1 – MAY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION


    TABLE 2 – MAY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

     
    TABLE 3 – MAY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for June 2017

    July 11, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,305 original drilling permits in June 2017 compared to 656 in June 2016. The June total included 1,131 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged well bores and 163 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued June 2017 included 330 oil, 70 gas, 817 oil or gas, 70 injection, two service and 16 other permits.

    In June 2017, Commission staff processed 510 oil, 96 gas, 43 injection and zero other completions compared to 700 oil, 165 gas, 31 injection and four other completions in June 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 3,872; down from 6,429 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of July 7 was 463, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics,  visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page

    TABLE 1 – JUNE 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    137

    87

    34

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    120

    69

    14

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    65

    12

    5

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    28

    4

    6

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    18

    3

    6

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    53

    1

    6

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    37

    20

    3

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    84

    26

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    588

    234

    15

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    78

    43

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    40

    4

    1

    (10) PANHANDLE

    57

    7

    6

    TOTAL

    1,305

    510

    96

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website here.

June

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for April 2017

    June 28, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for April 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 78,389,597 barrels of crude oil and 605,379,703 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for April 2016, was: 74,597,958 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 83,154,778 barrels; and 616,993,278 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 682,927,748 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from May 2016 to April 2017, total Texas reported production was 990 million barrels of crude oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary April 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,612,987 barrels daily, compared to the 2,486,599 barrels daily average of April 2016.

    Texas preliminary April 2017 total gas production averaged 20,179,323 mcf a day, compared to the 20,566,443 mcf daily average of April 2016. 

    Texas production in April 2017 came from 179,422 oil wells and 92,879 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the Commission’s Oil & Gas Monthly Production web page

    TABLE 1  APRIL 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    7,025,935

        2.

    MIDLAND

    6,952,901

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,218,849

        4.

    REEVES

    4,058,519

        5.

    LA SALLE

    3,976,183

        6.

    UPTON

    3,808,824

        7.

    MARTIN

    3,600,781

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,911,758

        9.

    LOVING

    2,688,038

      10.

    REAGAN

    2,635,876

     

    TABLE 2 – APRIL 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    61,866,541

        2.

    TARRANT

    36,565,369

        3.

    KARNES

    22,205,321

        4.

    DIMMIT

    21,683,187

        5.

    PANOLA

    21,403,258

        6.

    REEVES

    19,058,905

        7.

    DEWITT

    18,516,563

        8.

    JOHNSON

    17,221,192

        9.

    WISE

    16,076,457

      10.

    LA SALLE

    15,933,837


    TABLE 3 – APRIL 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,627,086

        2.

    CULBERSON

    1,141,464

        3.

    WEBB

    1,091,193

        4.

    KARNES

    1,088,616

        5.

    DEWITT

    776,120

        6.

    REEVES

    656,755

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    275,314

        8.

    LOVING

    245,781

        9.

    WHEELER

    217,593

      10.

    LA SALLE

    207,724

  • Smart IT Solution Reaps Benefits for Agency, Industry

    June 21, 2017

    AUSTIN – A new well log electronic filing system has reduced the burden on operators and saved both the industry and Railroad Commission thousands of dollars and man-hours in its first six months of use. The system was created as a solution to the cumbersome and outdated print system previously used, which required operators to print hundreds of pages – that they already had in electronic format – and mail them to the Railroad Commission for imaging and processing. Prior to development of this system, the Commission did not have a way to accept the information electronically. 

    The effort to streamline the burdensome well log filing system came as part of Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton’s initiative to implement smart IT solutions. As an oil and gas engineer, and founder of a company that focused on IT solutions for asset evaluation and reliability, Commissioner Sitton understands what taxpayers and the agency’s customers should expect from an IT solution perspective. 

    “Information Technology solutions aren’t always easy to develop. An entity’s desire for customization and control often leads to poor IT development decisions that don’t solve problems at affordable rates,” Sitton said.

    “Since joining the Commission I’ve encouraged our IT department to develop affordable, off-the-shelf systems and simple fixes to important problems like the well log issue. As we utilize budget resources this next biennium, I will continue to push for smart IT solutions to increase transparency and efficiency, and to make our IT systems more user friendly for all Texans.” 

    Nearly 30 percent of all well logs filed since the system launched have been submitted online. That number will grow as more operators learn of the time and money they will save as a result of this system. 

    “BP welcomes the changes to the state’s well log submission system, which will significantly reduce costs and streamline the process,” said Tim Seidel, a geoscience technologist with BP America, “and we appreciate the Railroad Commission’s efforts to push for these necessary reforms and its continued support of our industry.”

    boxes of hard copies of well logs the commission has received

    Pictured above are boxes of hard copies of well logs the commission has received. One well log could stretch several feet in length, such as the one pictured above. Electronic submission of well logs will eliminate the need to print, process and store all hard copies of well logs.
  • ICYMI: Commissioner Christian Profiled in Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association’s Spring/Summer 2017 magazine

    June 12, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian is profiled in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Upstream Texas, a magazine of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association. The profile highlights Commissioner Christian’s goals as commissioner, and his assessment of the RRC since taking office in January 2017. 

    You can click here to reach Commissioner Christian’s profile.


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for May 2017

    June 09, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,021 original drilling permits in May 2017 compared to 606 in May 2016. The May total included 841 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 25 to re-enter plugged well bores and 155 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued May 2017 included 274 oil, 43 gas, 619 oil or gas, 64 injection, one service and 20 other permits.

    In May 2017, Commission staff processed 593 oil, 115 gas, 60 injection and zero other completions compared to 760 oil, 199 gas, 60 injection and 11 other completions in May 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 3,223; down from 5,529 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of June 9 was 460, representing about 50 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics,  visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – MAY 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    93

    61

    29

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    97

    64

    7

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    34

    17

    13

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    41

    6

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    6

    2

    3

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    28

    4

    14

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    22

    22

    3

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    96

    31

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    444

    266

    26

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    86

    83

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    40

    22

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    34

    15

    6

    TOTAL

    1,021

    593

    115

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website here.

  • Chairman Craddick Highlights Successful RRC Technology Overhaul

    June 08, 2017

    SAN ANTONIO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today noted key advancements and on-going efforts by the Railroad Commission to improve the agency’s technological infrastructure at the 6th Annual Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference in San Antonio. 

    “Technology plays a critical role in allowing us to do our job in a more efficient and effective manner, facilitating better service at less cost for the public and industry,” Craddick said.

    “The Commission collects and houses massive amounts of data. We recognized it was time to bring the agency into the 21st century, and we are making great strides improving outdated systems and antiquated processes.”

    The Information Technology Modernization Program (ITMP), a multi-biennia effort, was launched in January 2013. The legislature appropriated $24.7 million to the Railroad Commission in the 83rd Legislative Session and work began on ITMP in September 2013.

    “With the ITMP effort, we have spent the last four and half years implementing extensive upgrades across the agency,” Craddick said. “The changes we have made reducing paper filings, automating processes and bringing more data online for public use are saving countless hours of staff time for the state and substantial dollars for industry that can instead be used to hire workers, invest in technology and produce more energy in Texas.

    “Our technological capabilities have improved but there is still plenty to do,” Craddick said. “This past session, the Legislature appropriated $3 million to the agency to establish an Inspection and Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System. In addition to that project, this year, we plan to implement the online filing of well plugging forms. We will continue to look for ways to advance technology and become more efficient across the board.”

    Completed ITMP items include:

    • Performance improvements to queries for drilling permits, production reports and statewide field rules;
    • Establishment of online filing processes for well status reports, groundwater letters, Rule 13 exceptions, pipeline permits, well logs and identifying gatherers and purchasers;
    • Improvements to efficiencies in processes for issuing drilling permits, submitting completion information and utilizing the RRC Payment Portal;
    • Launch of new internal applications, including Surface Mining permitting and Oil and Gas inspection management;
    • Launch of a new public GIS viewer;
    • Improved usability and accessibility of all agency IT applications;
    • Redesign of the Railroad Commission public website and RRC Online home page;
    • Migration of RRC Online and other critical systems to the state data center, and;
    • Deployment of Windows 7, Office 2016 and MS Cloud email services to staff.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ June 6 Conference

    June 08, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $484,353 in fines involving 221 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $203,835 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $20,518 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $260,000 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here. 

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

     

  • Chairman Craddick: Revisions Could Make NAFTA Even Better for Texas

    June 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for Texas and the state’s energy industry, as published in the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday, June 6. The editorial can be read online here and below. News organizations are welcome to post or publish this editorial in their respective publications or websites.

    When I think about the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations, I think about the origins of the Railroad Commission of Texas, on which I have the honor of serving.

    The Texas Legislature created the commission in 1891. Its charge was to oversee the state’s transportation industry, specifically railways.

    When oil and gas pipelines came along, the commission had already been doing similar regulatory work — and doing it well — for decades. Since pipelines raised many of the same issues as railways, it was given regulatory authority over them. Fast forward to today, and as most Texans know, even though we are still called the Railroad Commission, we are no longer in the railroad business.

    Instead, we are one of the leading regulators of oil and gas in the world — thanks to Texas’ continued dominance of the industry. If it were a country, the Lone Star State would be in the top 10 globally for oil production and second in the world for natural gas production, behind Russia.

    The commission has fulfilled its responsibility of safeguarding our natural resources, securing community safety and achieving economic development because of relationships that were first negotiated in a different sector more than 100 years ago. We may see a similar trajectory around the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Overall, NAFTA has been great for Texas. We run a trade surplus with our neighbor to the south, with Mexican exports accounting for 6 percent of the state’s GDP, compared to 1.3 percent nationwide. However, there are some areas where the original 1993 agreement is either silent or outdated.

    President Trump’s plans to work with Canadian and Mexican officials to revise the treaty could offer U.S. businesses and consumers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build on what came before. Given my focus in the energy sector, three areas I would like to see included in negotiations relate to energy infrastructure, investment and the environment.

    Infrastructure development is already out ahead of Washington. American gas exports to Mexico have doubled in the last two years. By the end of 2018, six transnational pipelines will be carrying gas from the U.S. into Mexico.

    But our policies and practices are not harmonized across national lines. A revised NAFTA could allow us to coordinate the location and funding of future projects and develop a uniform and comprehensive regulatory framework to deal with the transportation and distribution of energy across North America. As an acknowledged leader in this area, Texas could influence the standards ultimately set.

    As for investment, when NAFTA was originally negotiated, Mexico banned private development of its energy resources. That changed in 2013. Last December, Mexico awarded deepwater exploration and development rights to American, French and Chinese companies. Future investments are likely to follow, but their long-term stability will be uncertain until NAFTA is revised to explicitly protect foreign investors within North America.

    When it comes to the environment, critics have long charged that the treaty’s existing protections are inadequate and fail to properly incentivize sustainable development. We can do better.

    At the Railroad Commission, we have worked with industry experts to develop best practices around the extraction and distribution of natural resources in order to ensure environmental and public health. These standards should be written into any future agreement, along with a mechanism for enforcing the treaty’s protections on both sides of the border.

    The most difficult part of any negotiation is nailing down the terms of that first, hard-fought agreement. It may well be that NAFTA was merely a first step — and that what began as a free-trade agreement will become much more than that. We should not ignore this potential. Indeed, if NAFTA’s revision is negotiated well, it could help realize energy independence for North America.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Christian Applauds President Trump for Removing U.S. from Paris Climate Accords

    June 02, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian (R – Texas) applauded President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. 

    “The Obama Administration entered the United States into a lopsided agreement which would require our nation to drastically reduce carbon emissions -- killing jobs, harming our economy, and increasing energy costs for consumers – while allowing other nations like Russia and China to increase emissions for the foreseeable future,” said Commissioner Christian. 

    “By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords, Trump has demonstrated his continued commitment to putting America first and prioritizing jobs for middle-class Americans,” continued Christian.

    “It is refreshing to have an administration that avoids basing regulatory decisions on politically-driven rhetoric disguised as science. As we have shown in Texas, both the economy and environment prosper when regulations are consistent, predictable, and based on proven, sound science.” 


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • EXITING EUROPEAN CLIMATE ACCORD IS GOOD FOR TEXAS

    By Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian
    June 02, 2017

    Today, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, clearly demonstrating his commitment to putting America first and prioritizing jobs for middle-class Americans.

    President Trump is right to withdraw. The Paris Climate Accord is a bad, unfair deal for the American people and would put us at a severe economic disadvantage. While it allows other nations such as China to continue increasing carbon emissions until 2030, the United States cut its carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels. Most astoundingly, the agreement allows India to double its coal usage by 2020.

    According to a report sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, remaining in the Paris Climate Accord would cost the American economy and workers 6.5 million jobs and $3 trillion in economic growth by 2040.  As you can see, while America’s economy would take a massive hit, other nations would continue business as usual. Under the agreement, China can continue building hundreds of coal-fired power plants. The Paris Climate Accord doesn’t get rid of coal jobs – it just moves them overseas.

    The justification for killing millions of American jobs and causing trillions of dollars of damage to our economy is the potential to decrease global temperatures by no more than 0.17 degrees Celsius by 2100 – and that is only if implemented perfectly. This accord is a classic example of what happens when policy is based on politically-driven rhetoric disguised as science.

    Last November, the American people made it clear they do not want climate alarmists with no regard for American jobs in charge of public policy. Americans expect their public servants to represent their best interests, not the latest fad in the international community.

    The environmental movement is losing creditability with the working American by prioritizing costly mandates and carbon-taxes over free-markets and innovation. It’s time we put Lubbock, Houston, and McAllen, Texas ahead of Paris, France. 

    Through advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the free-market is reducing our carbon emissions by flooding the electric market with low-cost natural gas to generate electricity. Petra Nova, the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility, takes carbon from an existing coal-fueled power plant and uses it for the enhanced recovery of oil while sequestering CO2 underground. Human innovation and competitive markets are reducing carbon in the atmosphere, while ensuring energy remains cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

    Remaining in the Paris Climate Accord puts all this progress at risk, disproportionately affecting the United States and Texas, depleting our coffers and striking fear in the hearts of the hundreds of thousands of workers and their families in our booming energy sector. 

    Exiting the Paris Climate Accord and dismantling the so-called Clean Power Plan is a good start to an America first energy strategy. I am thankful that President Trump puts American workers above wayward science and country before climate alarmism.


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Chairman Craddick Emphasizes Importance of Texas LNG Growth

    June 02, 2017

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today delivered keynote remarks at the LNGgc Americas Conference in Houston, detailing Texas’ unique position in the overall expansion of U.S. liquid natural gas (LNG) exports. With Texas and the Gulf of Mexico playing key roles in the new national LNG export market, stakeholders gathered to discuss challenges, pricing and future infrastructure projects in the region.

    “U.S. proven natural gas reserves rank fifth in the world; and, as the U.S. has become one of the world’s largest natural gas producers — second, only behind Russia — the industry has been working as quickly as possible to transition LNG import terminals to export terminals,” Craddick said. 

    “The export of natural gas represents one of the most promising economic opportunities of the new American shale boom. LNG exports will reduce our trade deficit, increase government revenues, grow our economy and support millions of American jobs. And, as our country’s LNG export market grows, it will also help to position us as a global energy superpower.” 

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

May

  • Chairman Craddick Thanks Legislature for Railroad Commission Funding

    FY 2018-19 Budget Includes Additional Inspectors, IT Upgrades
    May 30, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today thanked the 85th Texas Legislature for recognizing the important role the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) plays in keeping the state’s citizens and natural resources safe. The Legislature’s FY 2018-2019 budget includes increased funding for the RRC to strengthen the agency’s inspection and enforcement capabilities, as well as increase transparency for the public.

    “During this time of incredible growth within the Texas oil and gas industry, it is critical that the Railroad Commission has the funds necessary to continue to regulate such a dynamic and foundational segment of our state’s economy,” Craddick said.

    “Oil and gas production generates billions of dollars in revenue for the state, providing funding for critical services in our communities and opportunities supporting our state’s bright future,” Craddick said.

    “Our state’s energy success is driven not only by Texas’ vast mineral wealth, but by the regulatory leadership of the Railroad Commission. We at the Commission are proud of the work we do to ensure the protection of all Texans and our environment while allowing the energy industry to safely innovate and thrive.”

    Senate Bill 1 appropriates approximately $256.1 million for the biennium, including an increase of 7 FTEs.

    The funding includes the following items, with a focus on additional staff inspectors and IT program upgrades:

    • $5.9 million increase for pipeline safety inspection;
    • $3 million and 7 FTEs for IT modernization projects related to inspection and enforcement tracking and reporting;
    • $40.7 million increase for oil and gas well plugging and remediation activities;
    • $39.6 million for operational stability.

    Senate Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor’s signature into law. 

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ May 23 Conference

    May 25, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $311,914 in fines involving 168 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $113,005 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $9,809 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $189,100 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.
    Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here. 

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

  • Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton Discusses Innovative Disruption in Energy

    May 24, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton met with 100 senior level oil and gas executives in Houston yesterday for An Energy Evening hosted by KCA, a business consultancy serving energy, technology and legal clients. 

    New technology and drilling techniques in Texas shale plays have led to a dramatic increase in Texas production, forcing OPEC to cut production and disrupting the global supply and demand balance. In light of these developments, Sitton discussed “Innovative Disruption in Energy,” and its impact on the market, investments and infrastructure. 

    “After 25 years of viewing oil and gas as just another commodity, we need to begin thinking differently about the role energy plays in the world,” Sitton said.

    “Texas energy production, and the innovation of our drillers, has the ability to disrupt the global market, secure our economic growth and national security, and place the U.S. in a position of energy dominance.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for March 2017

    May 24, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for March 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 77,262,815 barrels of crude oil and 608,006,175 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for March 2016, was: 77,702,710 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 87,212,078 barrels; and 638,377,189 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 710,704,805 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from April 2016 to March 2017, total Texas reported production was 980 million barrels of crude oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary March 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,492,349 barrels daily, compared to the 2,506,539 barrels daily average of March 2016.

    Texas preliminary March 2017 total gas production averaged 19,613,102 mcf a day, compared to the 20,592,813 mcf daily average of March 2016.

    Texas production in March 2017 came from 177,719 oil wells and 90,804 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics,  visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.


    TABLE 1
      MARCH 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION


    TABLE 2 – MARCH 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

     
    TABLE 3 – MARCH 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

  • Craddick: Sunset Review Legislation Comes at Critical Time for Texas, RRC

    May 15, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the important and timely passage of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ Sunset legislation by the Texas Legislature published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram Sunday, May 14.    

    “Passage of the Railroad Commission’s Sunset review legislation has come at a critical time for the agency and energy industry,” Craddick said.

    “With Texas gearing up for another energy boom, certainty in regulation is critical for energy companies who now are making hiring and investment decisions in communities across the state.” 

    In Texas, state agencies are regularly assessed to determine if their purpose continues to be needed. The assessment, conducted by the Sunset Commission, offers the opportunity to make improvements to the way our state government works and to limit the size of government overall. 

    “At the Railroad Commission, energy regulators, industry and the public work together to craft policies ensuring the safe production of energy,” Craddick said. “We know economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive and that we must maintain the right balance between robust regulatory stances while supporting a strong energy industry. This careful balance means thousands of jobs for Texans, billions in revenue for our state and energy security for our nation.

    “All of us at the Railroad Commission share in the commitment to protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to remain an economic driver for our state,” Craddick said. “We look forward to continuing the important work we do for the great state of Texas.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton Talks Opportunity in the Permian Basin

    May 11, 2017

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today spoke with students, operators and technology experts who gathered for the 2017 Technology Forum hosted by the Texas Oil & Gas Institute. The Institute — a non-profit formed by University of Texas and Texas A&M University — is focused on improving the value of university lands through education, engineering and research. 

    The Technology Forum encouraged technical discussions on increasing production and growing reserves as well as best practices and lessons learned. During his keynote address, Commissioner Sitton discussed the Permian Basin’s remarkable opportunity and tremendous level of investment. 

    “Right now, 40 percent of all U.S. rigs are located in the Permian Basin,” Sitton said.

    “At a time when we’re seeing oil prices begin to rise, Texas production reaching record highs and historic new investments in the Permian, TOGI collaborators are going to play an important role in that basin.” 


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ May 10 Conference

    May 11, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $314,681 in fines involving 134 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $5,500 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $161,556 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $147,625 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton and Land Commissioner George P. Bush Host Fitness Class Highlighting Global Employee Health & Fitness Month

    Commissioners taught a free exercise class for state government employees in collaboration with the American Heart Association
    May 10, 2017

    AUSTIN – Commissioners George P. Bush and Ryan Sitton teamed up to today to advocate for employee health and wellness by teaching a free exercise class on the Capitol lawn. The event, hosted in collaboration with the American Heart Association, highlighted Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. 

    “I’m excited for this opportunity to partner with Commissioner Sitton to raise awareness around the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” said Commissioner George P. Bush. “As the father of two young boys, I know how important it is to eat well and stay active so I can be there for all the important moments in their lives. I look forward to encouraging my fellow Texans do to the same for their families.” 

    The class featured a CrossFit-style workout and was led by the Commissioners. Commissioners Bush and Sitton created the event to inspire state employees to live healthier, more active lifestyles. 

    “Staying healthy and active is paramount to both personal and professional success, and it’s a key focus for me, my wife and our three children,” Commissioner Sitton said.

    “That’s why I’m excited to team up with Commissioner Bush for Global Employee Health & Fitness Month while raising awareness for a great cause.” 

    Representatives from the American Heart Association provided information about living a healthy lifestyle. 

    “The American Heart Association is dedicated to improving the health of all Americans, so it’s very heartening to see our public leaders putting employee wellness front and center,” said AHA Austin Board Member Bobby Jenkins. “Almost a quarter of your year is spent at work; why not strive to make your work life balanced and healthy.”

    Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton (Left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush lead a state employee exercise class on the Capitol lawnRailroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton (Left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush lead a state employee exercise class on the Capitol lawn


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Statements by Railroad Commissioners on Legislative Passage of House Bill 1818

    RRC Sunset Legislation
    May 09, 2017

    AUSTIN – Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioners Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian issued the following statements on the legislative passage of House Bill 1818 (HB 1818), the Railroad Commission’s Sunset legislation. HB 1818 now moves to Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration. 

    "I want to thank the Legislature and our staff for their time and hard work on our agency's Sunset bill," Chairman Craddick said.

    "All of us at the Railroad Commission share in the commitment to protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to remain an economic driver for our state. This Sunset review has spanned several legislative sessions and has resulted in an even stronger Railroad Commission today. We look forward to continuing the important work we do for the people of the great state of Texas." 

    Commissioner Sitton said, “I appreciate the Legislature’s hard work in reviewing the agency and ultimately passing a Railroad Commission Sunset Bill. We recognize that there is always room to continue to improve, but our commitment to customer service, transparency and effectiveness has never been greater. Texas’ energy future is incredibly bright and I’m proud that this agency will continue to regulate the industry that remains the lifeblood of the Texas economy.” 

    Commissioner Christian said, “Ensuring regulatory certainty for our booming energy sector by completing the Sunset process has been one of my top priorities, both as a candidate and now as a Railroad Commissioner. I appreciate the Legislature’s hard work on this important legislation. Now the energy sector can fully focus on what it does best, employing thousands of Texans, strengthening our economy and providing billions of dollars in tax revenue that fund schools, public safety and other critical functions of our state.”

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for April 2017

    May 09, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 909 original drilling permits in April 2017 compared to 683 in April 2016. The April total included 821 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, nine to re-enter plugged well bores and 79 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued April 2017 included 223 oil, 55 gas, 576 oil or gas, 36 injection, one service and 18 other permits.

    In April 2017, Commission staff processed 439 oil, 44 gas, 45 injection and two other completions compared to 873 oil, 120 gas, 49 injection and five other completions in April 2016. Total well completions processed for 2017 year to date are 2,455; down from 4,499 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of May 5 was 443, representing about 50 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – APRIL 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    183

    54

    13

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    60

    46

    3

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    43

    12

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    24

    9

    8

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    8

    6

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    28

    6

    0

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    23

    15

    3

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    51

    51

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    401

    185

    11

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    34

    23

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    29

    19

    3

    (10) PANHANDLE

    25

    13

    1

    TOTAL

    909

    439

    44

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • States Will Lead the Next Energy Revolution

    by Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian
    May 05, 2017

    Texas is on the verge of a new energy revolution. The potential for job creation, economic prosperity and investment in our energy sector is almost limitless.

    Key to ensuring it stays that way is reducing or removing regulatory roadblocks to energy exploration and production, without compromising public or environmental safety.  I will carry this message with me next week when I attend my first Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) as Governor Greg Abbott’s appointee for Texas.

    The IOGCC is one of the oldest, largest, and most important interstate compacts in the nation. It was formed more than 80 years ago when six states joined together to resolve common issues and share best practices for industry regulation, minimizing federal intervention.

    I’m especially proud to represent our state on this important Commission given my East Texas roots and my dedication to private property rights and fighting federal overreach.

    IOGCC’s formation can in part be traced back to my home region of East Texas, where in 1930 Columbus “Dad” Joiner struck oil outside Kilgore in what became known as the East Texas Field. That discovery launched an oil rush, the likes of which our nation had never seen, bringing to light a number of issues that would change the course of the oil and gas industry for decades to come.

    What was happening in the East Texas Field was also happening in other states. The absence of virtually any regulation led to overproduction and waste of natural resources. The situation was so bad in the East Texas Field, Governor Ross Sterling ordered the Texas National Guard and Texas Rangers out to the region to maintain order.

    That combination of the oil field chaos and lack of regulatory certainty from states, led to serious discussions by Congress about whether the federal government, not the states, should regulate the production of oil and gas. Fortunately, a compromise was reached and interstate compact (IOGCC) would be formed by oil producing states to cooperatively craft uniform conservation laws.

    The production of domestic energy is vital to all Americans, but what works in Texas might not work in North Dakota, Ohio, or even Oklahoma. With such massive differences in geology, population, and political climate, it makes more sense for states to collaborate on best practices, then implement what makes sense for their respective regions.

    IOGCC is an incubator for ideas and shaping a shared vision for our nation’s energy future in ways that protect state sovereignty and prevent the federal government from imposing one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington D.C.

    As the nation’s largest energy producer Texas has much to share with other oil and gas producing states. In Texas, commonsense regulation is the rule, not the exception.  Our state must be a leader in any discussion on energy production policy; not only our state’s economic future, but our nation’s economic future depends on this important work.

     


     
    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

April

  • Chairman Craddick Addresses Women’s Energy Network at National Conference

    Discusses Importance of Women in Critical Energy Industry Roles
    April 27, 2017

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today spoke to members of Women’s Energy Network (WEN) at their annual national conference in Houston, Energy Resilience: Refueling Innovation. WEN’s national conference brings together women from various industry disciplines to nurture professional connections among experts, increase knowledge and transform careers while maximizing contributions to industry advancements.

    “While the energy sector has historically been viewed as a male-dominated industry, women have served in critical technical roles for generations,” Craddick said.

    “I am proud to say we are seeing more women out on rigs, on-site at refineries, and even in the board room where their perspective can have a greater impact on the industry’s future.”

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, women represent a smaller percentage of the work force in energy-related sectors, ranging from 22 to 34 percent, than compared to the overall economy where women make up 47 percent of employees.

    “The industry’s ebbs and flows have led to a labor shortage on top of an aging work force, pushing companies to cast a broader net for qualified employees,” Craddick said. “Bringing more women into the mix gives the industry a broader talent pool with which to meet challenges, and develop solutions for a fast-moving and innovative industry. At the end of the day, diversity in work force leads to better ideas and greater efficiency.”

    WEN serves more than 4,000 members through programs that foster career and leadership development of professional women working in the energy industry.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ April 25 Conference

    April 27, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $860,851 in fines involving 293 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $28,625 in two oil & gas protested enforcement dockets that went to hearing. The final orders can be found here and here. 

    Operators were assessed $292,334 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $225,816 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $314,076 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    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 2017

    April 26, 2017

    AUSTIN – Production for February 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 70,332,051 barrels of crude oil and 527,710,713 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for February 2016, was: 70,251,961 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 82,690,053 barrels; and 580,784,700 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 667,498,671 mcf.

    The Commission reports that March 2016 to February 2017, total Texas reported production was 977 million barrels of crude oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary February 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,511,859 barrels daily, compared to the 2,422,481 barrels daily average of February 2016.

    Texas preliminary February 2017 total gas production averaged 18,846,811 mcf a day, compared to the 20,027,059 mcf daily average of February 2016.

    Texas production in February 2017 came from 169,008 oil wells and 89,918 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  FEBRUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    5,761,637

        2.

    KARNES

    5,677,096

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,748,942

        4.

    UPTON

    3,516,460

        5.

    REEVES

    3,295,823

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,278,013

        7.

    MARTIN

    3,189,946

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,717,069

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,662,072

      10.

    LOVING

    2,390,491


    TABLE 2 – FEBRUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    TARRANT

    37,096,698

        2.

    WEBB

    35,705,945

        3.

    DEWITT

    19,967,640

        4.

    KARNES

    19,686,230

        5.

    DIMMIT

    18,589,416

        6.

    JOHNSON

    16,240,830

        7.

    WISE

    15,393,365

        8.

    DENTON

    14,947,343

        9.

    REEVES

    14,867,608

      10.

    PANOLA

    14,711,731


    TABLE 3 – FEBRUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,476,780

        2.

    KARNES

    1,188,867

        3.

    CULBERSON

    1,129,636

        4.

    WEBB

    795,350

        5.

    DE WITT

    753,031

        6.

    REEVES

    508,847

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    280,750

        8.

    LOVING

    255,508

        9.

    WHEELER

    190,439

      10.

    LA SALLE

    189,957

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Launches RRC’s First Virtual Reality Video

    Takes Texans on Tour of Drilling Rig
    April 24, 2017

    AUSTIN — Commissioner Ryan Sitton and the Railroad Commission are now using 360-degree technology to take Texans on a virtual reality tour of Texas energy. Texans can join Commissioner Ryan Sitton and San Antonio District Director Travis Baer on an Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig. The tour takes Texans onto the rig floor, underneath the rig to the blowout protector and even next to a herd of cattle grazing nearby. The educational tool debuted at Earth Day Texas on April 21.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity, where Texans can hear the sounds of a drilling operation and almost reach out and touch the drilling pipe. It’s as close as you can get without actually setting foot on a rig,” Sitton said.

    “One of my goals as Railroad Commissioner is to educate Texans about where their energy comes from and virtual reality tours are a great way to give adults and children an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have to learn about the oil and gas industry.”

    The tour gives Texans the opportunity to experience the first step in the oil production process and learn how the Railroad Commission ensures that the operation is conducted safely and responsibly. Viewers start the four-minute tour at the entrance of the rig site and are taken step by step through the main components of the rig. 

    The tour is free and available on the Railroad Commission’s YouTube channel. Viewers may use iOS or Android, and no virtual reality glasses are necessary. Viewers using computers should click and drag the mouse to see a 360-degree view. When viewing the video on a mobile device, open in the YouTube app.

    Ryan Sitton at an Oil Rig

    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts. 

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Earth Day Upcoming Events & Op-Ed

    April 19, 2017

    AUSTIN —  Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton will join thousands of Texans at Earth Day Texas at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22 where he will participate in a town hall and answer questions about the oil and gas industry in Texas. As a regulator of oil and gas and an environmentalist, Commissioner Sitton looks forward to engaging with the public regarding important energy issues and encourages them to bring their curiosity. 

    Sitton will also participate in a roundtable at the Responsible Shale Energy Extraction Symposium hosted in conjunction with Earth Day Texas at 2 p.m. Friday, April 21.  

    Other notable participants at Earth Day Texas this year include Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. 

    In case you missed it, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton has written an op-ed entitled “For the Railroad Commission Earth Day is Every Day,” which is available for publication. 

    Earth Day Texas is a free three-day event and the largest Earth Day celebration in the world. The event features environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, subject matter experts, live music, and food pavilions. 


     

    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Concerned With Impacts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Proposal

    April 18, 2017

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expressing concerns regarding a proposal that would modify longstanding interpretations of rules for vessels transporting specialized equipment used by the offshore oil and gas industry. CBP’s flawed proposal has excluded important stakeholders that will be impacted by the proposed changes to decades-old interpretations.

    “As a Railroad Commissioner, it is my duty to express concerns when the oil and gas industry, which accounts for 30 percent of our state’s economy, is harmed by federal bureaucracy,” Sitton said. “This proposal would stifle our offshore energy production, cost the state millions of dollars, and cost jobs on the Gulf Coast.”

    In his letter, Commissioner Sitton calls for CBP, at the very least, to implement a formal rulemaking proceeding. He also calls attention to the fact that the proposal, as written, does not include a comprehensive list of rule interpretations that will be changed. The Notice is styled as “Proposed Modification and Revocation of Ruling Letters Relating to Customs Application of the Jones Act to the Transportation of Certain Merchandise and Equipment Between Coastwise Points,” 51 Customs Bulletin 3 at 1 (Jan. 18, 2017).


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.
  • ICYMI: Commissioner Christian Participates in Opening of Historic Carbon Capture Plant

    World’s Largest CO2 Capture Plant Recycles CO2 for Enhanced Oil Production, Environmental Protection
    April 18, 2017

    RICHMOND – Last week, Commissioner Wayne Christian attended the official opening of the world’s largest carbon capture facility, participating in the valve opening ceremony with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Governor Greg Abbott, Congressman Pete Olson and Japanese General Consul Tetsuro Amano.

    The Petra Nova Project, located in Fort Bend County, captures carbon dioxide resulting from coal-fired power generation and uses the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery while also sequestering it deep underground.

    “With the official opening of the Petra Nova plant, Texas is undeniably the leader in energy technology,” Commissioner Christian said last Friday.

    “This important project will not only lead to more energy production and jobs in Texas, but to cleaner energy production as well.”

    The Petra Nova project is expected to capture approximately 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 annually from the WA Parish Generating Station southwest of Houston. Hilcorp Energy will use the captured CO2 at the company’s West Ranch oil field.

    Please see the photos below from the event.

    Wayne Christian participating in the valve opening ceremony with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Governor Greg Abbott, Congressman Pete Olson and Japanese General Consul Tetsuro Amano

    Christian with Rick Perry and Governor Abbot


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Craddick: “Texas Can Remain a Leader in Clean Energy"

    April 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – Please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the leading role Texas is playing in developing clean energy technology. The editorial appears in the San Antonio Express-News Sunday, April 16.

    “Texas is a national leader in the development of clean energy,” Craddick said. “We have more wind power capacity than any other state and all but five countries. The solar power market in Texas is also taking off as the manufactured cost of panels have been reduced. Clean energy involves more than a commitment to the development of renewables. It includes investments in new technologies that can make conventional generation cleaner, too.

    “The United States must remain on the leading edge of energy technologies, just as we led the way on hydraulic fracturing, which is transforming America’s energy economy,” Craddick said.

    “Our commitment to develop renewable sources, to tap the potential of our shale formations, and to develop the technology needed to make our air cleaner and our economy stronger means Texas remains positioned as the nation’s energy leader.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Christian Appointed to Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) by Governor Greg Abbott

    April 11, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian to serve as the Official Representative of Texas to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). 

    “It is an honor to serve as the Official Representative for our state, and I would like to thank Governor Abbott for this appointment,” Commissioner Christian said.

    “Texas is the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the United States and with this position, I intend to ensure our state has a stronger voice at the national level.” 

    "With a business-friendly administration in Washington, now is our opportunity to reign in the out-of-control federal government and reduce burdensome, frivolous regulations on energy producers," continued Christian. "I look forward to working with other member states to explore opportunities to expand responsible production to create jobs and grow our economy." 

    The IOGCC is one of the oldest and largest interstate compacts in the nation, working to ensure our nation's oil and natural gas resources are conserved and maximized while protecting health, safety and the environment. It was formed over 80 years ago when several states joined together to resolve common issues in the industry without federal intervention. 

    Membership is comprised of the current governor of each member state, as well as additional representatives appointed by governors. The IOGCC serves as the governors’ collective voice on oil and gas issues and advocates states’ rights to govern the petroleum resources within their borders. 

    Christian’s on-going responsibilities as Representative include serving as spokesman for the group in Texas, meeting with the Governor to discuss current issues, authoring/sponsoring IOGCC resolutions, voting during business session, participating in committees and regularly attending meetings. 

    Christian’s appointment to the IOGCC is effective immediately and shall remain in force until otherwise directed. 


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for March 2017

    April 07, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,310 original drilling permits in March 2017 compared to 511 in March 2016. The March total included 1,144 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged well bores and 155 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued March 2017 included 284 oil, 56 gas, 893 oil or gas, 51 injection, one service and 25 other permits.

    In March 2017, Commission staff processed 586 oil, 77 gas, 49 injection and zero other completions compared to 947 oil, 194 gas, 33 injection and eight other completions in March 2016. Total well completions for 2017 year to date are 1,925; down from 3,452 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of April 7 was 418, representing about 50 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – MARCH 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    146

    77

    11

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    140

    78

    5

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    45

    13

    6

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    24

    4

    10

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    11

    6

    2

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    48

    7

    6

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    48

    15

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    120

    32

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    585

    264

    19

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    67

    52

    1

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    53

    25

    3

    (10) PANHANDLE

    23

    13

    13

    TOTAL

    1,310

    586

    77

    * A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ April 4 Conference

    April 06, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $459,081 in fines involving 207 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $22,500 in one oil & gas protested enforcement docket that went to hearing. The final order can be found here. 

    Operators were assessed $169,306 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $12,350 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $254,925 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • "For Railroad Commission, Earth Day is Every Day"

    By Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
    April 05, 2017

    Earth Day is April 22nd this year, and I can’t wait to once again join tens of thousands of my fellow Texans at the largest Earth Day celebration in the world, in Dallas. You might find it odd that a Conservative Republican would be excited about one of the largest green events in the world, but I am a huge environmentalist. Most Republicans care deeply about our air, water and environmental quality, but many people don’t know that. 

    As a father, husband, private property owner and elected official, I know the health of our environment tomorrow is only as strong as our actions today. It’s important to me that at Texas’ energy regulatory agency, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), we work as if every day is Earth Day. 

    My view is that energy regulation should work in concert with environmental protection, not in conflict. For starters, you can’t drill a well or turnover a spade of dirt to produce energy without the permission of the RRC, through a strict and thorough permitting process. This means detailed plans on how an operator will prevent pollution, including how deep they can drill, and how much and where steel and cement are required in a well to ensure groundwater is kept safe. 

    For the men and women of the RRC, this duty is personal. When we act in the best interest of the 27 million people of the state, we are doing so for our friends, family and communities. 

    Every day hundreds of RRC inspectors fan out across Texas inspecting oil and gas wells, pipelines carrying crude oil or natural gas, and surface coal mines. In 2016 alone, our staff conducted 124,000 oil and gas inspections. Our inspectors look closely to make sure equipment is running properly, wells are drilled in compliance with rules set by the RRC, and operators have the necessary permits to legally produce or transport energy resources. 

    When an operator is not in compliance the RRC moves quickly to enforce our rules. Punishments for non-compliance can vary, but all are intended to hold an operator accountable and protect the public. The RRC can, and does assess fines. In 2016, we assessed $8.6 million dollars in penalties on operators who violated our rules. We also sever an operator’s lease for continued non-compliance. That means they are not permitted to produce, transport or sell their product, effectively shutting them down. We issued more than 8,200 lease severances in 2016. 

    While some of our team at the RRC are working to protect the environment through proactive inspection and enforcement of our rules, others are working to return land used in energy production to its original condition, or better. Through site remediation, the RRC assists communities across Texas with land restoration. These programs turn old, unused and sometimes contaminated sites into thriving redeveloped or natural areas. For example, in 2016 our site remediation team helped turn a historic, abandoned oil field near Houston into the Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve. It’s now a 511-acre preserve providing a coastal wildlife habitat and protecting water quality. 

    These are just some of the ways all of us at the RRC work to protect our shared environment. No one in the state is more dedicated to protecting the public and the environment than the RRC. I look forward to talking with Texans more about our commitment to environmental protection on April 22nd at 10:30 a.m. at Earth Day Texas 2017. For those of us at the Railroad Commission, every day is Earth Day.


     
    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Talks Energy Policy, Vision with American Association of Drilling Engineers

    April 04, 2017

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton discussed the importance of developing a vision for the future of energy policy yesterday at a Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the American Association of Drilling Engineers University of Texas Austin Chapter. 

    “We must think about energy policy in the long term, set a vision and take action now to achieve the goals that we all want – affordable, reliable, clean energy,” Sitton said.

    “We currently have a federal administration that understands the importance of energy to our nation’s economy and national security, and the opportunities for the future of energy are limitless as we roll back duplicative regulations and take an all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

    Sitton Talks Energy Policy


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton uses his technical expertise and business experience to make decisions for the state that are based on sound science and employs a fiscally conservative approach to prioritize the agency’s efforts.

March

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for January 2017

    March 29, 2017

    AUSTIN – Production for January 2017 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,331,644 barrels of crude oil and 608,396,818 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for January 2016, was: 76,063,179 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 89,235,660 barrels; and 612,602,068 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 710,771,614 mcf.

    The Commission reports that February 2016 to January 2017, total Texas reported production was 976 million barrels of crude oil and 8.0 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary January 2017 crude oil production averaged 2,430,053 barrels daily, compared to the 2,453,651 barrels daily average of January 2016.

    Texas preliminary January 2017 total gas production averaged 19,625,704 mcf a day, compared to the 19,761,357 mcf daily average of January 2016.

    Texas production in January 2017 came from 166,839 oil wells and 91,847 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

     
    TABLE 1  JANUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    5,968,075

        2.

    KARNES

    5,603,618

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,805,295

        4.

    MARTIN

    3,620,570

        5.

    REEVES

    3,603,351

        6.

    UPTON

    3,540,425

        7.

    LA SALLE

    3,473,844

        8.

    ANDREWS

    3,008,826

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,929,639

      10.

    GONZALES

    2,750,277


    TABLE 2 – JANUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    60,760,884

        2.

    TARRANT

    40,991,028

        3.

    PANOLA

    23,293,038

        4.

    DIMMIT

    22,715,319

        5.

    KARNES

    21,150,212

        6.

    DEWITT

    20,771,953

        7.

    JOHNSON

    17,790,403

        8.

    WISE

    16,953,327

        9.

    LA SALLE

    16,608,453

      10.

    DENTON

    15,967,630


    TABLE 3 – JANUARY 2017 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,806,452

        2.

    KARNES

    1,365,032

        3.

    WEBB

    1,216,099

        4.

    CULBERSON

    1,140,158

        5.

    DEWITT

    871,744

        6.

    REEVES

    506,589

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    330,803

        8.

    LOVING

    215,983

        9.

    LA SALLE

    215,142

      10.

    WHEELER

    207,113

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ March 21 Conference

    March 24, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $697,568 in fines involving 224 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $291,550 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $119,268 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $286,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Chairman Craddick Lays Out Bright Vision for ‘The Future of Energy’ at Texas A&M Law Symposium

    March 23, 2017

    FORT WORTH – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today joined industry experts, academics and public officials at the Texas A&M University 2017 Energy Law Symposium to discuss future opportunities and challenges for the United States and global energy industry.

    “Today, we could not sustain life as we know it without energy of some kind,” Craddick said. “Over the course of the last few decades, our quality of life and the health of our environment have increased significantly thanks to energy. While there are plenty of uncertainties – OPEC, Russia, the Mexican energy market and changes in federal regulations – we know the U.S. energy industry is not going anywhere. In fact, through the last downturn, the industry only got better, producing more energy at less cost and with less impact to the environment.”

    “From the Texas perspective, the future of our state’s energy industry is very bright,” Craddick said.

    “Texas is leading the new U.S. energy renaissance. And, a few important factors are contributing to our energy success: an all-of-the-above energy strategy including oil, gas, coal and renewables; pro-growth policies that support a business-friendly environment; infrastructure development allowing for industry expansion; and education and training for a technically skilled workforce. It is important that the federal government employs those same concepts nationally in support of the overall U.S. energy industry.”  

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for February 2017

    March 10, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 991 original drilling permits in February 2017 compared to 573 in February 2016. The February total included 847 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged well bores and 133 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued February 2017 included 258 oil, 37 gas, 640 oil or gas, 43 injection, one service and 12 other permits.

    In February 2017, Commission staff processed 533 oil, 95 gas, 49 injection and zero other completions compared to 822 oil, 186 gas, 57 injection and one other completions in February 2016. Total well completions for 2017 year to date are 1,213; down from 2,270 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of March 10 was 392, representing about 51 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – FEBRUARY 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    133

    64

    25

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    135

    98

    22

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    28

    47

    9

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    17

    12

    4

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    13

    6

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    19

    7

    10

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    26

    18

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    56

    70

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    434

    154

    9

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    74

    21

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    31

    31

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    25

    5

    10

    TOTAL

    991

    533

    95

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • An Energetic Outlook for Texas

    by Chairman Christi Craddick
    March 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on this year’s opportunities for the Texas oil and gas industry published in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times Monday, March 6.

    “Newfound enthusiasm in the oil patch extends beyond price measures, as producers hold out hope for political changes and economic opportunities that lie ahead,” Craddick said.

    “As Texas leads the way in energy development of all sources – from oil and gas to wind – the Texas Railroad Commission seeks to lead the way with a modern regulatory framework that keeps up with the times,” Craddick said. “At the Texas Railroad Commission, we are not only stewards of vital energy resources, but of the public trust. We want to ensure regulatory policies are modern and transparent, conducive to economic growth, and consistent with the environmental standards Texans have come to expect. If we do those things, we will have done our job. And Texas will prosper in 2017, and beyond.”

    The editorial can be read in full here


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Statement by Commissioner Christian on EPA Withdrawal of Information Request

    March 03, 2017

    AUSTIN– Commissioner Wayne Christian today released the following statement regarding Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) withdrawal of its information request for the oil and gas industry to provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations:

    “After the November election, in an attempt to circumvent the will of the American people, the EPA and the Obama Administration put in place an unlawful methane data collection mandate that would have cost the oil and gas industry millions of dollars."

    "I applaud EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for eliminating this costly mandate on our nation’s energy producers that would have hurt jobs and prevented growth in our economy. It is time our national energy policy is based on sound science and not baseless speculation.”


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Feb. 28 Conference

    March 03, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $516,325 in fines involving 175 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $175,803 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $134,022 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $206,500 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

February

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for December 2016

    February 23, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for December 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 74,254,312 barrels of crude oil and 566,772,368 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for December 2015, was: 74,575,286 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 88,322,097 barrels; and 625,413,983 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 720,113,879 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from January 2016 to December 2016, total Texas reported production was 978 million barrels of crude oil and 8.0 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary December 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,395,300 barrels daily, compared to the 2,405,654 barrels daily average of December 2015.

    Texas preliminary December 2016 total gas production averaged 18,282,980 mcf a day, compared to the 20,174,645 mcf daily average of December 2015.

    Texas production in December 2016 came from 169,564 oil wells and 92,685 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  DECEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    6,647,671

        2.

    KARNES

    5,185,479

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,061,664

        4.

    MARTIN

    3,804,528

        5.

    UPTON

    3,646,068

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,546,936

        7.

    REEVES

    3,221,572

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,855,905

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,778,860

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    2,755,694


    TABLE 2 – DECEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    55,062,649

        2.

    TARRANT

    34,656,208

        3.

    DIMMIT

    22,091,796

        4.

    PANOLA

    21,498,737

        5.

    KARNES

    19,414,479

        6.

    DEWITT

    19,364,237

        7.

    JOHNSON

    17,899,408

        8.

    LA SALLE

    16,683,712

        9.

    WISE

    15,111,245

      10.

    MIDLAND

    14,131,304


    TABLE 3 – DECEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,834,221

        2.

    KARNES

    1,210,965

        3.

    CULBERSON

    1,060,370

        4.

    WEBB

    1,016,756

        5.

    DEWITT

    918,528

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    341,345

        7.

    REEVES

    278,015

        8.

    LA SALLE

    218,226

        9.

    LOVING

    191,177

      10.

    WHEELER

    160,595

     ###

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Feb. 14 Conference

    February 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $319,320 in fines involving 225 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Two operators were assessed $53,045 in three oil & gas protested enforcement dockets that went to hearing. The final orders can be found here, here and here. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $1,625 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $264,650 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Railroad Commission Enhances Oil & Gas Enforcement Data

    Updates Definition of Major Violation
    February 16, 2017

    AUSTIN – As part of its ongoing mission to increase transparency, the Railroad Commission of Texas is adding quarterly oil and gas enforcement data to the agency’s website. The additions are part of the RRC’s continued commitment to informing Texans about the agency’s actions to protect public safety and the environment. 

    Beginning with the first quarter Fiscal Year 2017 report, new enforcement information posted includes:

    • Number of oil and gas facility inspections with no violation
    • Number of statewide oil and gas rule violations
    • Number of major statewide oil and gas rule violations
    • Number of district-initiated severance/seal orders

    In addition to enhancing transparency by creating new reporting categories for quarterly enforcement reporting, the Commission is updating its definition of major oil and gas violations. Major violation now is defined as a safety or pollution-related violation that causes a significant impact to public safety or the environment, is accompanied by conditions that indicate a significant impact to public safety or the environment is imminent, or is the result of deliberate disregard of Commission rules and regulations related to public safety or environmental protection. Also, major violations are now reported at the time of discovery in the field rather than at the time of referral for penalty action, as recommended by the Sunset Commission. This updated definition helps the Commission more comprehensively, timely and uniformly categorize violations as major and will make these violations easier to track.  

    The Commission’s Oil and Gas Field Operations and Enforcement Data can be found here.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for January 2017

    February 10, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 956 original drilling permits in January 2017 compared to 510 in January 2016. The January total included 865 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged well bores and 79 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued January 2017 included 259 oil, 67 gas, 607 oil or gas, 18 injection, one service and four other permits.

    In January 2017, Commission staff processed 418 oil, 84 gas, 31 injection and three other completions compared to 951 oil, 197 gas, 52 injection and four other completions in January 2016. Total well completions for 2017 year to date are 536; down from 1,204 recorded during the same period in 2016.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of February 10 was 362, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – JANUARY 2017 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    147

    73

    10

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    107

    34

    23

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    35

    27

    29

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    34

    4

    3

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    21

    7

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    40

    8

    6

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    36

    8

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    70

    47

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    350

    167

    5

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    67

    30

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    24

    8

    4

    (10) PANHANDLE

    25

    5

    2

    TOTAL

    956

    418

    84

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commission Presents 2018-19 Budget Request to Senate Finance Committee

    Priorities Include More Inspectors, IT Modernization, and Sustainable Revenue Source
    February 09, 2017

    AUSTIN—Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today presented the Railroad Commission’s 2018-19 biennial budget request to the Texas Senate Finance Committee. The Commission’s budget request totals $85 million for Fiscal Year 2018 and $85 million for Fiscal Year 2019.

    To ensure the Commission continues to meet its mission of protecting public safety and the environment, it is requesting an additional $16.1 million. These funds would be used for staff retention through salary parity with other state agencies, additional oilfield safety and pipeline safety inspectors and enhanced enforcement tracking capabilities.

    Exceptional item requests include:

    • Priority 1: Salary Parity; $4.3 million (biennial total)
    • Priority 2: Additional Inspectors for Enhanced Oilfield Safety and Pipeline Integrity Initiative; $8.8 million and 55 Full Time Equivalent employees (biennial total)
    • Priority 3: Inspection / Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System; $3 million and 7 FTEs (biennial total)

    The Commission is also requesting a supplemental appropriation of approximately $45 million.

  • Chairman Craddick: Texas Energy Sector on Upswing; RRC Faces Critical Budget Needs

    Meets with Top Dallas Federal Reserve Economists to Discuss Future of Texas Energy
    February 02, 2017

    DALLAS – Chairman Christi Craddick met with leadership at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed) this week to discuss this year’s outlook for the state’s oil and gas industry. According to economists with the Dallas Fed, Texas oil and gas drilling activity will increase throughout this year. 

    “Oil and gas production today makes up more than 30 percent of our state’s overall economy,” Craddick said. “It is critical for the industry’s continued success and for the public’s safety that the Railroad Commission has as much information as possible about the industry’s near-term future as we determine strategic plans for the agency.”

    The Railroad Commission of Texas is currently presenting its 2018-19 biennium budget request to legislators as they meet for the 85th Legislative Session. Today’s briefing provides greater evidence of the need for more sustainable funding for the Commission.

    “We know from previous downturns that when the oil and gas industry ramps up, it ramps up quickly,” Craddick said.

    “We must be fully staffed and prepared for an uptick in industry activity. I am optimistic about oil and gas production growth in Texas this year, but look forward to seeing a continued rise in permitting and new drilling reports before we expect a significant shift within the industry. Until then, we will continue to move resources planned for permitting to other areas of the agency as needed.” 

    The Dallas branch of the U. S. Federal Reserve System is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., make up the nation's central bank. The Dallas Fed also serves as a research institution providing information on the United States and Texas economies, specializing in energy sector analysis in the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. 


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

January

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Keynotes API Inspection Summit

    January 31, 2017

    GALVESTON — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today spoke to inspection professionals at the American Petroleum Institute (API) Inspection Summit hosted at the Galveston Island Convention Center. The first engineer to serve on the Railroad Commission in 50 years, Sitton discussed “Equipment Integrity, Reliability and the Future of Energy.” 

    “As an energy professional who started a mechanical integrity and reliability company, I understand how important it is to have a work force that is constantly improving and making energy development as safe as possible,” Commissioner Sitton said. “Texas serves as an example to the world in responsibly producing oil and gas, so it was my privilege to keynote the API Inspection Summit to challenge these technical experts to continue implementing best practices that keep the public and environment safe.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton is working to make the Commission as efficient and effective as possible, and in turn, ensure all Texans are confident in how our state’s energy industry is operating.

     

  • Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian Discusses Importance of Coal to Texas Energy Supply

    January 27, 2017

    AUSTIN– Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian this week toured Luminant Mining Co., LLC.’s Three Oaks Mine and Alcoa Inc.’s Sandow mine reclamation area in Bastrop, Lee and Milam counties. This was Commissioner Christian’s first site visit since taking office in early January.

    During the visit, Commissioner Christian emphasized the importance of coal to the state’s energy supply. He also discussed the Commission’s commitment to ensuring safe, responsible mining operations, including the reclamation of mined land when operations are complete. 

    “Texas is the nation’s largest producer of lignite coal, and about 40 percent of the coal burned in Texas is lignite” Commissioner Christian said. “Luminant is the largest power generator in Texas, supplying plants with not only coal, but also natural gas, nuclear power and wind.

    “Since 1974, Luminant has reclaimed about 80,000 mined acres, and planted more than 38 million trees—planting more trees on an annual basis than any other mining company in the United States” Christian said.

    “The companies and people that have worked to supply our coal energy—including Luminant and Alcoa— have done a wonderful job in restoring formerly mined land that includes not only ponds and pastureland for cattle but also natural habitat for Sandhill cranes as well as bald eagle nesting sites.”

    Earlier this week, the Commission unanimously voted in an open meeting to join a coalition including the Texas Attorney General’s Office and other states contesting the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Stream Protection Rule.

    The accompanying photos of Commissioner Christian may be used for media purposes, please credit the Railroad Commission of Texas.

    Commissioner Christian enjoys view of reclaimed surface mining site.
    Commissioner Christian enjoys view of reclaimed surface mining site.

    Commissioner Christian in a surface mining dragline bucket.
    Commissioner Christian in a surface mining dragline bucket.


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Jan. 24 Conference

    January 27, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $2,034,955 in fines involving 520 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $1,268,557 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $237,548 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $528,850 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

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

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for November 2016

    January 25, 2017

    AUSTIN –– Production for November 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 72,322,284 barrels of crude oil and 571,259,135 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for November 2015, was: 70,969,209 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 87,022,508 barrels; and 596,523,139 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 710,454,789 mcf.

    The Commission reports that from December 2015 to November 2016, total Texas reported production was 982 million barrels of crude oil and 8.0 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary November 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,410,743 barrels daily, compared to the 2,365,640 barrels daily average of November 2015.

    Texas preliminary November 2016 total gas production averaged 19,041,971 mcf a day, compared to the 19,884,105 mcf daily average of November 2015.

    Texas production in November 2016 came from 181,475 oil wells and 92,930 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.


    TABLE 1
      NOVEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    6,288,709

        2.

    KARNES

    4,949,515

        3.

    MARTIN

    3,614,039

        4.

    UPTON

    3,547,056

        5.

    LA SALLE

    3,312,304

        6.

    DEWITT

    3,109,269

        7.

    REEVES

    3,102,924

        8.

    MCMULLEN

    3,005,042

        9.

    ANDREWS

    2,881,607

      10.

    GONZALES

    2,867,686


    TABLE 2 – NOVEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    57,709,582

        2.

    TARRANT

    34,743,565

        3.

    DIMMIT

    21,795,947

        4.

    PANOLA

    21,471,134

        5.

    KARNES

    19,030,181

        6.

    JOHNSON

    17,796,770

        7.

    DEWITT

    17,173,052

        8.

    LA SALLE

    16,565,955

        9.

    WISE

    15,309,137

      10.

    REEVES

    14,689,467


    TABLE 3 – NOVEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,795,653

        2.

    KARNES

    1,222,723

        3.

    WEBB

    1,019,042

        4.

    CULBERSON

    940,718

        5.

    DEWITT

    915,888

        6.

    REEVES

    519,024

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    353,728

        8.

    LOVING

    243,976

        9.

    LA SALLE

    214,408

      10.

    HEMPHILL

    179,938

  • Wayne Christian Joins Coalition Demanding Congressional Oversight Of Regulations

    January 18, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian added his name to a coalition of elected officials supporting the passage of a Regulation Freedom Amendment. This would require Congress to approve any major new federal regulations by a majority vote in both chambers if a quarter of the members give the president a written declaration of opposition.

    “Far too often, frivolous, job-killing federal regulations are put into place at the agency level with zero oversight from Congress,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “It is time to put in place a mechanism that returns power to the democratically elected Congress and give them the ability to override harmful regulations.”

    The coalition supporting this measure includes over 900 state legislators and 6 governors including Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence. Support in Texas includes U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. House Rules Chair Pete Sessions, State Representative Phil King, and State Senators Craig Estes, Bob Hall, Bryan Hughes, and Van Taylor.



    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

  • Railroad Commission of Texas Streamlines Oil and Gas Well Reporting

    Process Makes Well Log Information More Accessible to Public
    January 12, 2017

    AUSTIN – As part of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ commitment to increasing efficiency and transparency through the modernization of its Information Technology systems, oil and gas producers can now file well log data electronically. Because the Commission now has the technology to accept well log information electronically, operators will no longer be required to print this information and submit paper logs.

    This new electronic filing system will save operators about $362,000 annually and reduce the time and resources necessary for them to comply with reporting requirements, as well as make the information they submit more quickly and easily accessible to the public. Likewise, the Commission will save $105,000 and nearly 4,000 hours of staff time by eliminating the need for staff to receive the paper copies of these well logs and convert them to electronic files.

    “Technology updates such as these help close the gap in day-to-day business operations between government agencies and private business,” Chairman Christi Craddick said.

    “We are bringing more data online to allow for a more efficient solution that saves both the state and industry significant time and money. In turn, that means the generation of further business activity, the creation of more jobs and a stronger Texas economy overall. We at the Commission will continue to do everything we can to drive these pro-business policies forward throughout every aspect of our processes,” Craddick said.

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Affordable IT solutions that enhance the Commission’s accessibility and modernize the agency are a priority for the Commissioners. It made no sense to require operators to provide us information in paper form that they already had in electronic form, so I’m glad we identified this issue and saved both operators and the agency time and money.”

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “Reducing the regulatory burden on energy operators in Texas, while making sure we continue to protect the people and environment across our state makes good economic sense for our state.  Smart regulation like this keeps operators in the field, Texans on the job and gives the Commission the tools we need to make sure energy production in Texas is done safely and responsibly.”

    Operators must submit well logs in both .TIFF and .LAS formats. To access the L-1 Electric Log Status Report form on the Commission’s website, click here.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for December 2016

    January 10, 2017

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,009 original drilling permits in December 2016 compared to 727 in December 2015. The December total included 909 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 17 to re-enter plugged well bores and 83 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued December 2016 included 267 oil, 57 gas, 612 oil or gas, 62 injection, zero service and 11 other permits.

    In December 2016, Commission staff processed 430 oil, 93 gas, 20 injection and two other completions compared to 788 oil, 151 gas, 53 injection and one other completions in December 2015. Total well completions for 2016 are 10,468; down from 19,503 recorded in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of January 6 was 327, representing about 49 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – DECEMBER 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    143

    93

    13

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    121

    33

    19

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    35

    11

    22

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    23

    3

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    10

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    38

    12

    5

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    37

    11

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    89

    34

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    374

    159

    10

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    88

    39

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    35

    26

    2

    (10) PANHANDLE

    16

    8

    13

    TOTAL

    1,009

    430

    93

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Wayne Christian Sworn-in As Texas Railroad Commissioner

    January 09, 2017

    AUSTIN– Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian took his oath of office with more than 250 of his closest friends, family and supporters in attendance. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz administered the oath of office, while Attorney General Ken Paxton, Sen. Bryan Hughes, Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. Phil King gave remarks.

    “It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to serve the State of Texas in this capacity,” said Christian.

    “It was truly humbling to see so many from across the state come out to wish me good luck and give me encouragement as I start this new endeavor.

    “I look forward to ensuring the Texas Railroad Commission continues its 125-year legacy of encouraging responsible energy production and creating jobs,” continued Christian.

    Sen.-Elect Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) said, “A lot of politicians talk about how brave they are, but people like Wayne Christian, rather than professing his courage, has lived it.  East Texans like myself are excited to finally have an East Texan serving in statewide office.”

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Wayne is a man of character who lives by the principles he claims to live by and no one can debate that. It is clear from the moment I met Wayne that he walks by faith and never strays from his values.”

    In his opening, Sen. Cruz, said, “I cannot think of a better testament to your career and legacy than the high caliber men and women assembled in this room. One of the exciting things about Texas is the caliber of the conservative leaders that have stepped forward, leaders like Wayne who are battle-tested.

    “There are parts of the world that think of energy production as bad but Texas believes that free-people developing our God-given natural resources is good for everyone,” continued Cruz. “There is no opportunity for job creation and economic growth greater than the opportunities in energy.”

    Christian joins Commissioners Christi Craddick and Ryan Sitton as the third member of the Texas Railroad Commission


    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

     

  • Statement from Commissioner Ryan Sitton on EPA Lawsuit Regarding Oil and Gas Waste Disposal

    January 03, 2017

    AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today issued a statement regarding the court decision in a civil complaint filed against the EPA: Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-842, which was filed on May 4, 2016. The court decision, announced Dec. 28, directs the EPA to review and update its regulations on oil and gas waste disposal. 

    In July of 2016, Commissioner Sitton sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy explaining that no additional federal regulation is needed in this area to protect the public and environment and asking EPA not to collude with environmentalists by settling the case. 

    Commissioner Sitton issued the following statement on the decision: 

    “We have hundreds of rules in place at the Railroad Commission specifically to safeguard the public and the environment from any potential risks associated with oil and gas waste disposal. There is no rational basis for EPA to layer additional bureaucracy on top of our regulation of oil and gas waste disposal rules. As stated in my letter to the EPA, at the Railroad Commission we take our duty to regulate these processes seriously and have stringent requirements and comprehensive rules in place to ensure there are no harmful releases. 

    “The decision by EPA to settle caters only to environmental groups and adds unnecessary, burdensome regulation to an already suffering energy industry and economy. I am confident that the incoming presidential administration will put an end to this “sue and settle” approach to regulation, stop this type of political gamesmanship and base future decisions on sound science and data, as we do at the Railroad Commission.”


     Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.





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