The Commission’s Statewide Rule 32 (16 Texas Administrative Code §3.32) allows an operator to flare gas while drilling a well and for up to 10 days after a well’s completion to conduct well potential testing. The majority of flaring permit requests received by the Commission are for flaring cashinghead gas from oil wells. Permits to flare from gas wells are not typically issued as natural gas is the main product of a gas well.
Flaring of casinghead gas for extended periods of time may be necessary if the well is drilled in areas new to exploration. In new areas of exploration, pipeline connections are not typically constructed until after a well is completed and a determination is made about the well's productive capability. Other reasons for flaring include: gas plant shutdowns; repairing a compressor or gas line or well; or other maintenance. In existing production areas, flaring also may be necessary because existing pipelines may have reached capacity. Commission staff issue flare permits administratively for 45 days at a time, for a maximum limit of 180 days. Extensions beyond 180 days must be granted through a Commission Final Order.
See specifics on Statewide Rule 32 at the following link under §3.32 (Gas Well Gas and Casinghead Gas Shall Be Utilized for Legal Purposes):