H-15 Program FAQs

Testing of Inactive Wells Over 25 Years Old

The H-15 fluid level test reports are sent to the Austin Field Operations.  The H-15 mechanical integrity test reports are sent to the appropriate district office.

Failure to provide a test report by the required due date will result in the denial of the plugging extension for the well and the mailing of a 30 Day Pre-Severance Certified Notice.

Wells that cannot be tested as described in the rules should be brought to the attention of Austin Field Operations and a request made for an exception.  The Field Operations personnel will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis.

If the well has been plugged, provide a copy of the Plugging Report (Form W-3) as filed with the District Office to the H-15 group in Austin.

If the test report was submitted, you will be sent a “failed test” letter explaining your options.

Yes, extensions of time may be requested by contacting Austin Field Operations.  For good cause, the Field Operations Section in Austin may issue an extension of time.  These extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Statewide Rule 15(l)(7) requires that a fluid level test be run within 12 months or a mechanical integrity within 60 months prior to returning a well to production.  Failure to conduct the required test could result in a referral for Legal Enforcement action.

To return an inactive well to “active” status a Well Status Report (Form W-10 or Form G-10, RETEST) must be filed and the well must produce either 5 barrels of oil per month (BOPM) or 50 mcf of gas per month (MCFPM) for three (3) consecutive months.  If sufficient production cannot be accomplished prior to the test due date, contact the Austin Field Operations section.

The Commission will continue to send you an annual H-15 test request since the well remains classified as “inactive”.  When the subsequent test request is received, you should notify Austin Field Operations of the situation in writing, email or by facsimile.

The H-15 testing requirement is tied to the actual well bore.  If the well was re-completed to another interval, the testing requirements and production requirements of Statewide Rule15 remain applicable.

Failure to conduct the required test could result in a referral for Legal Enforcement action.  This legal action may result in administrative penalties, a Commission order to plug the wells, collection against your financial assurance and cancellation of your authority to operate oil and gas leases within the State of Texas.  Please contact the Austin Field Operations section if you have questions.


Austin Field Operations: H-15
Telephone:        (512) 463-6830
Facsimile:         (512) 463-7328
Email:               h15info@rrc.texas.gov

The H-15 test is required to establish that an inactive well over 25 years old does not pose a potential threat of harm to natural resources, including surface and subsurface water, oil and gas.

The test notice is sent when Commission records identify a well more than 25 years old that is inactive or has not reported production during the previous twelve-month period.  The testing schedule is based on the annual field-testing schedule for the well’s completion field.

Click here to find the schedule for well testing.

The actual test is generally either a static well fluid level test (FL) or a mechanical integrity test (MIT).  The test reports are submitted to the Commission on Form H-15.  There are other approved methods of testing.