Commissioner Sitton Releases Preliminary Summary of Technical Meeting on Seismicity


AUSTIN – Commissioner Ryan Sitton today released a preliminary summary of the technical meeting on seismicity that he hosted at the Railroad Commission on June 5, 2015. The summary was developed collaboratively with Dr. Dan Hill, Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, Lori Wrotenbery (Oil and Gas Division Director), Leslie Savage (Oil and Gas Assistant Director), and Craig Pearson, Ph.D. (Seismologist).

Other participants at the June 5, 2015 technical meeting included researchers who conducted the study, “Causal factors for seismicity near Azle, Texas,” and scientists from EnerVest corporation.  

“I appreciate Commissioner Sitton’s willingness to convene the technical meeting and start a dialogue regarding how we better understand the very complex scientific issue of seismicity,” said Dr. Dan Hill, Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. “It’s incumbent upon the academic community to appropriately study all aspects of these complicated geologic formations so policy makers have sound, comprehensive research upon which they can base their decisions. This meeting was a great start and opportunity to identify what additional research needs to be conducted and how to gather necessary data to aid in that research,” concluded Dr. Hill.  

“The technical meeting we had at the Railroad Commission was the first of what I hope are many collaborative meetings between researchers, industry and regulators to discuss the very technical and important issue of seismicity in our state,” said Commissioner Ryan Sitton. “This summary briefly describes some key takeaways from the meeting and details additional work that should be considered to enhance the data that is available as we evaluate the science surrounding seismicity. I appreciate the efforts of everyone who participated in this meeting and look forward to continuing to enhance our understanding of this issue and in particular exploring actions that the Railroad Commission can take to mitigate risks,” concluded Sitton.

The summary can be found by clicking HERE.



Elected to the Railroad Commission Nov. 4, 2014 to a six-year term, Commissioner Ryan Sitton won the general election with over 58 percent of the vote.Sitton is a native Texan who grew up in the Irving area. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. Following college, Ryan went to work as an engineer in the energy industry. In 2006 Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleAIS, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.