RRC to Plug Approximately 800 Extra Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

August 26, 2022

AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas will soon begin plugging more wells to continue its strong track record of plugging abandoned oil and gas wells in Texas. The well plugging program is a key component of the RRC’s mission to protect public safety and the environment across the state.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the state’s application for $25 million dollars of grant funding to plug abandoned oil and gas wells. The funds are part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which specifically dedicates this money to plug abandoned oil and gas wells.

The RRC anticipates the funds will be used to plug approximately 800 abandoned wells in addition to the wells being plugged by the successful State Managed Plugging Program (SMP).

The SMP has exceeded performance measures set by the state Legislature for six consecutive fiscal years. In fact, in the current fiscal year, the goal to plug 1,000 wells was exceeded two months ahead of time in June.   

“The RRC’s well plugging staff around the state puts a lot of hard work to help ensure residents and the environment are kept safe,” said Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations. “We will use our established success with workplans, staff expertise and contracting processes to use the grant funding to plug abandoned wells.”

The federal grant funds will be utilized to plug wells beginning Sept. 1, 2022.

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/.