New Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan Approved for Fiscal Year 2024June 14, 2023
AUSTIN – RRC commissioners have approved the agency’s Oil and Gas Monitoring Plan for Fiscal Year 2024 which continues to build on the agency’s strong record of stewardship of protecting the environment and residents.
The new plan includes goals to accurately demonstrate the Commission ’s oil and gas monitoring and enforcement activities and to strategically use the oil and gas monitoring and enforcement resources. It focuses on developing a framework to describe the totality of oil and gas monitoring and enforcement efforts, beyond inspections and remediation work the agency does, which would include the extensive work that is done involving technical permit monitoring and administrative compliance enforcement.
The RRC’s well plugging program, which has exceeded goals set by the Legislature for six straight years, will continue its prioritization system to extend its successful work plugging orphaned oil and gas wells throughout the state with state funds. This fiscal year the RRC utilized federal grants to add to the number of wells that were plugged. The agency has submitted comments on draft federal guidance on another set of grants that could be utilized next fiscal year.
“Our oil and gas regulatory work is nationally recognized because of our staff’s tireless work and the way we have leveraged technology to improve our efficiency over the years,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “The new plan for next fiscal year keeps building on that as we regulate more than 430,000 wells in the state. Texas is the largest oil and gas producer in the nation, and we will continue to help that economic vitality.”
Staff training has been very important for the agency as it regulates a cutting-edge oil and gas industry. Inspectors will continue to receive in-house and external training to learn about the technologies employed in conventional and shale oil and gas field operations.
Part of the Commission’s most recent goals are to use data from inspections, enforcement, and compliance to improve our information management systems so that they are more user-friendly for operators. That work will continue in the next fiscal year to help efficiency for both RRC staff and oil and gas operators.
About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.