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News

Agency News Items - 2016

December

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for October 2016

    December 21, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for October 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 73,565,318 barrels of crude oil and 582,136,569 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, October 2015, was: 74,686,442 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 90,084,363 barrels; and 636,226,447 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 739,709,848 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 987 million barrels of crude oil and 8.1 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary October 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,373,075 barrels daily, compared to the 2,409,240 barrels daily average of October 2015.

    Texas preliminary October 2016 total gas production averaged 18,778,599 mcf a day, compared to the 20,523,434 mcf daily average of October 2015.

    Texas production in October 2016 came from 181,637 oil wells and 91,812 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics,  visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  OCTOBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    MIDLAND

    5,716,075

        2.

    KARNES

    5,303,474

        3.

    MARTIN

    3,886,812

        4.

    LA SALLE

    3,778,017

        5.

    UPTON

    3,523,686

        6.

    DEWITT

    3,179,480

        7.

    REEVES

    3,073,956

        8.

    GONZALES

    2,962,919

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,824,555

      10.

    ANDREWS

    2,823,688


    TABLE 2 – OCTOBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    57,754,611

        2.

    TARRANT

    36,716,047

        3.

    DIMMIT

    22,873,842

        4.

    PANOLA

    20,916,865

        5.

    KARNES

    20,125,390

        6.

    JOHNSON

    18,518,432

        7.

    DEWITT

    18,037,221

        8.

    LA SALLE

    17,851,360

        9.

    WISE

    15,928,005

      10.

    DENTON

    13,823,250


    TABLE 3 – OCTOBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,984,528

        2.

    KARNES

    1,241,376

        3.

    WEBB

    1,062,603

        4.

    CULBERSON

    986,478

        5.

    DEWITT

    982,761

        6.

    REEVES

    504,108

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    380,533

        8.

    LOVING

    245,698

        9.

    LA SALLE

    221,889

      10.

    HEMPHILL

    181,802

  • Railroad Commission of Texas Presents 2016 Year in Review

    December 20, 2016

    AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission of Texas today released the agency’s 2016 Year in Review highlighting many of the regulatory agency’s accomplishments during the past year. The Year in Review reflects significant milestones, exciting changes and a continuing commitment to protecting public safety and our natural resources while maintaining a fair and stable regulatory environment.

    During 2016, the Commission celebrated its 125th anniversary, welcomed new leadership, implemented technology advancements, enhanced regulations and improved communication across all agency divisions. The 2016 Year in Review details these accomplishments and includes video, photos, infographics and links to additional information.
    The 2016 Year in Review can be found here.

    The Commission regulates oil and gas exploration and production, pipeline safety, surface mining, natural gas utilities and alternative fuels.

    The Railroad Commission encourages everyone to share the 2016 Year in Review using the hashtag #TxRRC.

  • Statement from Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton on recent Cabinet Announcements

    December 13, 2016

    AUSTIN—Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton’s statement on recent Cabinet announcements is below: 

    “I applaud President-Elect Trump’s selection of two great Texans to serve in his cabinet. Rex Tillerson and Gov. Rick Perry are universally known in the energy industry and both understand the importance of oil and gas to Texas’ economy. 

    "Tillerson and Perry will advance American energy security and prioritize American energy development. These picks make clear that President-Elect Trump recognizes our energy potential and will pave the way for important energy decisions, whether that be expeditious approval for interstate energy infrastructure or trade deals with nations who need American energy.  

    "I want to congratulate Rex Tillerson and Gov. Perry on their selection and commend President-Elect Trump for seeing the value of two hard-working, down-to-earth Texans who will without a doubt Make America Great Again.” 


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

     

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Dec. 6 Conference

    December 09, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $556,237 in fines involving 180 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $294,775 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $49,212 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $212,250 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

    For calendar year 2016, the Commission assessed a total of $8,651,857 in fines on 3,893 enforcement dockets. These include $416,033 in fines assessed in oil and gas protested dockets that went to hearing; $2,345,711 in penalties for Master Default Orders; $1,305,413 in fines for Master Agreed Orders and $4,584,700 for Pipeline Damage Prevention penalties. 

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for November 2016

    December 08, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 673 original drilling permits in November 2016 compared to 687 in November 2015. The November total included 581 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged well bores and 82 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued November 2016 included 145 oil, 38 gas, 449 oil or gas, 36 injection, zero service and five other permits.

    In November 2016, Commission staff processed 342 oil, 151 gas, 24 injection and one other completions compared to 776 oil, 150 gas, 35 injection and four other completions in November 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 9,923 down from 18,510 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of December 2 was 286, representing about 48 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – NOVEMBER 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    63

    73

    27

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    73

    32

    28

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    21

    11

    38

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    15

    4

    11

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    7

    0

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    20

    7

    8

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    28

    22

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    54

    21

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    291

    109

    12

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    64

    25

    1

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    31

    28

    1

    (10) PANHANDLE

    6

    10

    21

    TOTAL

    673

    342

    151

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Christi Craddick Elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas

    December 06, 2016

    AUSTIN – Commissioner Christi Craddick was unanimously elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas at today’s Commission meeting. Following her election as Chairman, Craddick gave remarks on the agenda she will carry forward at the agency.

    “We are in a pivotal time for enormous energy growth in the United States, and particularly in Texas,” Craddick said.

    “Through innovative regulatory oversight, the Railroad Commission has been a thought leader for energy states in keeping the public and environment safe. I am honored to serve as Chairman as we continue to drive Texas and the nation forward during this important time for American energy development.

    “My priorities for the agency continue to include our focus on maximizing efficiency throughout our processes and rules so that we are able to do our job better and at less expense to taxpayers and industry,” Craddick said. “As part of that efficiency effort, our modernization of the Commission’s IT programs and processes will bring more data online for public use, improve productivity and increase transparency across all divisions.

    “Just after the New Year, I will launch a number of specific initiatives to help our overall efficiency goals,” Craddick said.

    Those initiatives will include:

    • Meetings with Texas operators to outline a five-year plan that will allow us to better understand where the industry is headed technologically to ensure the agency employs best practices that keep pace with industry innovation.
    • Sessions with our district office staff throughout the state to ensure we are consistent in the application of our rules and enforcement actions carried out at the district level.
    • Input from staff involved in our day-to-day operations on potential ideas for cost saving and efficiency measures.
    • Tours of South Texas, Eagle Ford Shale and West Texas, Permian Basin regions throughout the spring to meet with local leaders about the effect the downturn has had in their communities as we work to understand regulatory impacts on industry and resulting economics within those communities during this time.

    “It is critical we focus on hiring high-quality staff and place an emphasis on work force recruitment, development, and retention,” Craddick said. “Next year, we will enhance the development of our technical experts, including, cross training for inspections and permitting, updated training for oil and gas inspectors and succession planning within each agency division.

    “As we begin the Legislative Session in January, we look forward to continued work with legislators to complete the agency’s Sunset review,” Craddick said. “We have also put a great deal of effort into our budget request for the upcoming biennium. We will make our case for necessary consistent revenue sources for the agency as well as immediate funding so that we are able to fully carry out the agency’s important functions.

    “Earlier this year, I was appointed to the National Petroleum Council, and I look forward to working with the new administration’s Secretary of Energy on ways to protect states’ regulatory authority of energy production for the benefit of local industry growth and state economies,” Craddick said.  

    RRC commissioners Christi Craddick, David Porter and Ryan Sitton .
    Christi Craddick,(center) was elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission today
    by  fellow Railroad Commissioners David Porter (left) and Ryan Sitton (right).



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

November

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for September 2016

    November 28, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for September 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 71,404,018 barrels of crude oil and 561,242,466 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, September 2015, was: 72,849,838 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 87,680,526 barrels; and 620,188,919 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 724,241,890 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 995 million barrels of crude oil and 8.1 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary September 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,380,134 barrels daily, compared to the 2,428,328 barrels daily average of September 2015.

    Texas preliminary September 2016 total gas production averaged 18,708,082 mcf a day, compared to the 20,672,964 mcf daily average of September 2015.

    Texas production in September 2016 came from 181,659 oil wells and 93,176 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics,  visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  SEPTEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

     1.

    KARNES

    5,095,593

     2.

    MIDLAND

    5,068,465

     3.

    MARTIN

    3,700,401

     4.

    UPTON

    3,501,453

     5.

    LA SALLE

    3,422,097

     6.

    DEWITT

    3,246,232

     7.

    REEVES

    3,178,649

     8.

    MCMULLEN

    3,021,614

     9.

    GONZALES

    2,949,145

     10.

    ANDREWS

    2,865,602


    TABLE 2 – SEPTEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

     1.

    WEBB

    55,387,471

     2.

    TARRANT

    35,487,204

     3.

    DIMMIT

    21,963,351

     4.

    KARNES

    19,877,341

     5.

    PANOLA

    19,046,575

     6.

    JOHNSON

    18,091,421

     7.

    DEWITT

    17,928,345

     8.

    LA SALLE

    17,073,641

     9.

    WISE

    15,597,579

     10.

    DENTON

    13,386,327


    TABLE 3 – SEPTEMBER 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

     1.

    DIMMIT

    1,795,824

     2.

    KARNES

    1,273,008

     3.

    WEBB

    1,109,560

     4.

    CULBERSON

    983,986

     5.

    DEWITT

    937,717

     6.

    LIVE OAK

    362,187

     7.

    LA SALLE

    237,080

     8.

    REEVES

    230,277

     9.

    WHEELER

    174,448

     10.

    LOVING

    170,278

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Nov. 15 Conference

    November 17, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $604,460 in fines involving 255 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Operators were assessed $184,093 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $128,667 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $291,700 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Statement from Commissioner Ryan Sitton on Seismicity in Johnson County, Texas

    November 15, 2016

    AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today announced his collaboration with the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) Center for Integrated Seismicity Research (CISR), an industry-sponsored, multidisciplinary, trans-college research center. The mission of CISR is to conduct fundamental and applied research to better understand both naturally occurring and potentially induced seismicity and the associated risks. The research is designed to identify the subsurface processes that may influence seismicity, quantify and reduce risk to the citizens and infrastructure of Texas, and inform regulators and operators so that they can improve standards of practice to mitigate seismicity.

    Commissioner Sitton issued the following statement on joining the research consortium:

    “I take the issue of induced seismicity very seriously. The science is clear that it is physically possible for injection wells that dispose of fluids deep underground to cause earthquakes in certain rare cases, given the right set of conditions. Unfortunately, this often is confused with hydraulic fracturing, which can cause micro earthquakes that are almost never felt. Since 2014 the Railroad Commission has had in place rules that require careful study of injection well applications in areas where seismicity could be a factor. As a result, we have put strict conditions on several injection wells and have also asked operators to withdraw applications when we believed there was a risk that they could cause seismicity.

    I’ve been working diligently on this issue since I joined the Commission in 2014, and after thorough study and visiting with researchers and operators across Texas, I have determined that we need to begin to look more closely at oil and gas injection activities in specific areas. One such area is Johnson County. I have seen credible data and science from operators that lead me to believe that area has elevated risks of seismicity related to disposal activities, and therefore warrants additional investigation. The industry data, combined with new data that will be acquired by TexNet (the new Texas Seismometer Network) will help the Railroad Commission and CISR achieve a more robust understanding than prior studies. For example, earlier academic reports from an earthquake sequence in Azle could leave the impression that seismicity in the entire Dallas and Fort Worth area is caused by oil and gas. I don’t believe that the science we have to date can support that conclusion.

    The governor’s technical advisory committee to TexNet, BEG, CISR and other reliable scientific groups are working on smart scientific approaches to comprehensively evaluate seismicity and the associated risks in our state. I am working with those groups, and if research points to a causal link between oil and gas and seismicity in the state, the Railroad Commission will address those situations in an appropriate way.

    I want to applaud the Texas Legislature for their leadership on this issue. Because of them we are doing more than any other state to address induced seismicity. Texans can rest assured that the Railroad Commission and the State Legislature take this issue very seriously and are committed to a thorough scientific analysis of what can and should be done to the extent oil and gas activity is causing seismicity in our state.”


    Ryan Sitton was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 and is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Sitton is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for October 2016

    November 06, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 855 original drilling permits in October 2016 compared to 822 in October 2015. The October total included 679 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged well bores and 166 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued October 2016 included 211 oil, 45 gas, 562 oil or gas, 26 injection, zero service and 11 other permits.

    In October 2016, Commission staff processed 445 oil, 203 gas, 20 injection and zero other completions compared to 1,138 oil, 196 gas, 53 injection and nine other completions in October 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 9,405 down from 17,545 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of November 4 was 262, representing about 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit  the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – OCTOBER 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    70

    107

    96

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    67

    39

    18

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    33

    10

    34

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    24

    2

    13

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    11

    4

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    22

    0

    8

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    22

    15

    4

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    76

    53

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    359

    163

    6

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    124

    27

    2

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    27

    23

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    20

    2

    17

    TOTAL

    855

    445

    203

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

October

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Kicks Off 54th PBPA Annual Meeting

    October 27, 2016

    MIDLAND — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today kicked off the Permian Basin Petroleum Association’s 54th Annual Meeting in Midland. Sitton discussed the rise in acreage prices, heightened investments in the region, and the energy outlook for 2017.  He presented alongside Aubrey Dunn, Commissioner of Public Lands for the State Land Office of New Mexico. 

    “The past month has been exciting for the oil and gas industry—we’ve seen natural gas prices rise above $3, oil prices are promising at just over $50 per barrel, and investors are putting more money into infrastructure in Texas,” Sitton said.

    “There’s no doubt that Texas is leading the way as the United States regains its global leadership in energy.”

    Sitton discusses the rise in acreage prices


    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. Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Oct. 25 Conference

    October 27, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $509,027 in fines involving 162 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $250,000 in one oil & gas protested enforcement docket that went to hearing. The final order can be found here. 

    Operators were assessed $12,402 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $38,875 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $207,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Commissioner Craddick Discusses Future of Texas Energy at Greater Houston Partnership

    Praises Region’s Energy Leadership
    October 26, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today visited with members of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Energy Advisory Committee about the current strength of the Texas energy industry and impacts to major energy hubs throughout the state.

    “The Greater Houston region remains critical to the success of Texas’ overall energy industry and will continue to serve as the state’s energy center for the foreseeable future,” Craddick said. “The region is unique in that it has not only centralized the industry’s intellectual capital but also provides a nexus for infrastructure in an optimal location for exporting our state’s mineral resources.  Houston continues to be the energy capital of Texas and arguably the world, helping drive innovation and growth in this vital industry, and I will ensure that growth continues.”

    Greater Houston Partnership is comprised of community-minded business leaders who share an interest in Houston's positive growth. The Partnership addresses Houston's unique challenges, and champions the growth and success of the Greater Houston region.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter Highlights Texas Energy Industry’s Water Conservation Efforts

    Says Commission Rules Promote Smart Water Use
    October 26, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today delivered the keynote address to the 5th Annual Lone Star Water Summit, highlighting the energy industry’s success in conserving and recycling water used in energy production.  Citing the Texas Water Development Board’s 2017 State Water Plan and a 2015 Duke University study, the chairman says oil and gas industry’s water use is minimal in comparison to other industries, and the energy industry’s innovative technologies are leading conservation efforts in Texas. 

    “Both state and nationwide, oil and gas water use is less than one percent, compared to irrigation and municipal uses, which total around 80 percent,” Porter said. “Demand for municipal use, manufacturing, and steam-generated electric power are expected to increase over the next 50 years in Texas, while water demand for oil and gas and other mining purposes are expected to remain relatively constant and eventually decline. This decrease in consumption is largely the result of industry innovations, such as desalination and water recycling.”  

    Porter commended 2013 Railroad Commission rule changes for helping accelerate industry’s efforts. The agency’s regulations encourage recycling of produced fluids, including hydraulic fracture flowback fluid and produced formation fluid. The regulations provide a clear guide to non-commercial, centralized and commercial recycling of such fluids, which encourage and promote greater water conservation and recycling efforts. 

    “Water is an essential part of energy production, and as the top energy producing state in the nation, water’s relationship with this industry is especially important to Texas,” Porter said. “But even if we do not use another drop of water for drilling operations, water is still going to be an issue because of our state’s tremendous population growth. We must continue working together to find the safest, most efficient uses for water in every industry.”



    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.
  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for August 2016

    October 26, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for August 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,034,914 barrels of crude oil and 606,931,065 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, August 2015, was: 74,679,202 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 90,454,059 barrels; and 624,110,098 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 746,328,268 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.004 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.2 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary August 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,420,481 barrels daily, compared to the 2,409,007 barrels daily average of August 2015.

    Texas preliminary August 2016 total gas production averaged 19,578,421 mcf a day, compared to the 20,132,584 mcf daily average of August 2015.

    Texas production in August 2016 came from 183,052 oil wells and 92,155 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  AUGUST 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    5,456,746

        2.

    MIDLAND

    5,305,560

        3.

    UPTON

    3,776,826

        4.

    MARTIN

    3,729,908

        5.

    DEWITT

    3,523,600

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,499,775

        7.

    REEVES

    3,284,712

        8.

    MCMULLEN

    3,259,857

        9.

    ANDREWS

    2,989,817

      10.

    GONZALES

    2,900,684

     

    TABLE 2 – AUGUST 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    61,192,846

        2.

    TARRANT

    37,246,599

        3.

    PANOLA

    24,670,352

        4.

    DIMMIT

    24,107,623

        5.

    KARNES

    20,787,521

        6.

    DEWITT

    19,496,927

        7.

    JOHNSON

    18,763,931

        8.

    LA SALLE

    17,913,624

        9.

    WISE

    16,111,571

      10.

    DENTON

    13,845,267

     

    TABLE 3 – AUGUST 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    2,014,509

        2.

    KARNES

    1,300,763

        3.

    WEBB

    1,195,686

        4.

    CULBERSON

    1,050,726

        5.

    DEWITT

    997,425

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    402,040

        7.

    LA SALLE

    297,122

        8.

    REEVES

    247,103

        9.

    LOVING

    172,978

      10.

    HEMPHILL

    167,960

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Oct. 11 Conference

    October 13, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $231,775 in fines involving 160 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $8,700 in one oil & gas protested enforcement docket that went to hearing. The final order can be found here. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $37,575 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $185,500 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Delivers Address to Young Professionals in Energy

    October 11, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton spoke today to Austin’s Young Professionals in Energy for their Lunch and Learn Series. Sitton discussed what the new wave of energy professionals should know, the energy race and the Railroad Commission’s role. 

    “The caliber of young professionals entering the industry is astounding,” Sitton said. “As a regulator of oil and gas, I’m looking forward to working with these men and women who will lead Texas toward a position of global energy leadership.”

    Sitton speaking to Austin’s Young Professionals


    Elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014, Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts and the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native North Texan, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • RRC Remediation of Abandoned Oilfield Site Helps With Development of Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve

    October 10, 2016

    AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission’s Site Remediation section has helped turn an historic, abandoned oil field site into part of one of the state’s newest natural habitats—the Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve. The 511-acre preserve, which celebrated its grand opening Friday, is located between Houston and Beaumont in Chambers County and borders Lake Anahuac and Turtle Creek Bayou. 

    The preserve is part of the Turtle Bayou Oil Field discovered in 1952, which had legacy abandoned oil wells and former oilfield waste pits. The abandoned oil wells were plugged using $487,000 from the RRC’s Oil & Gas Regulation & Cleanup Fund, which is financed by industry fees for plugging abandoned wells and remediating abandoned oilfield sites. An additional $49,793 from the OGRCF and a $176,300 federal Brownfield grant also was used by RRC Site Remediation to assess the site and ensure it was cleaned up to standards necessary for wetland habitat. 

    The Commission’s Brownfield Response Program restores Brownfield properties in communities across Texas by increasing the redevelopment potential of abandoned oil and gas sites. The RRC BRP provides technical and financial support for redevelopment with little to no cost to local governments, non-profit organizations, tribes, universities, school districts and economic development corporations through a brownfield grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

    The preserve is owned by the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District, for preserving coastal habitat and protecting water quality. Galveston Bay Foundation holds a conservation easement on the property to permanently protect the land, which provides opportunities for hiking, birding and kayaking. 

    Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for September 2016

    October 10, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 746 original drilling permits in September 2016 compared to 906 in September 2015. The September total included 610 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, seven to re-enter plugged well bores and 129 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued September 2016 included 217 oil, 39 gas, 448 oil or gas, 34 injection, one service and seven other permits.

    In September 2016, Commission staff processed 430 oil, 155 gas, 38 injection and seven other completions compared to 1,153 oil, 284 gas, 41 injection and six other completions in September 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 8,737 down from 16,149 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of October 7 was 247, representing about 47 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – SEPTEMBER 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    73

    82

    26

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    51

    26

    35

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    36

    30

    26

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    22

    5

    6

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    8

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    28

    1

    17

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    24

    16

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    41

    64

    2

    (8) MIDLAND

    323

    139

    15

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    76

    34

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    44

    23

    6

    (10) PANHANDLE

    20

    9

    22

    TOTAL

    746

    430

    155

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Commissioner Craddick Advises Tax Association on State of Texas Energy

    October 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today met with the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) at their annual meeting in Austin to discuss the current and future outlook of the Texas energy industry and its economic impact to the state. 

    “In Texas, one of our greatest economic opportunities continues to be the successful development of the country’s most significant oil and gas reserves,” Craddick said. “With consistent daily output of about 2.4 million barrels over the last year, Texas has proven our state provides the best environment in the world for sustainable energy production. Our state’s oil and gas industry has met market challenges through transformational change that is keeping energy affordable with homegrown oil and natural gas and shaping new domestic industries with the emergence of LNG export terminals along our coast. Texas’ energy future is looking brighter than ever before.” 

    TTARA is a non-profit organization of businesses and individuals from a range of economic sectors and activities in Texas who are interested in state and local fiscal policies, and the way those policies impact the state’s economy.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

September

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Sept. 27 Conference

    September 30, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $452,448 in fines involving 161 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $43,431 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $224,267 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $184,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Commissioner Craddick Examines Texas’ Prolific Permian Basin with Regional Experts

    September 28, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today spoke to the West Texas Geological Society at its annual fall symposium in Midland.  Commissioner Craddick highlighted the past, present and future importance of the Permian Basin to the Texas energy industry. The technical group meets annually to discuss research, studies, geological analysis and developing technologies in the region that will further the development of one of the country’s most significant oil and gas basins.

    “The Permian Basin’s current and potential production, for Texas and our nation, is truly invaluable,” Craddick said. “This oil rich region enables us to meet our domestic energy demands with reliable, affordable energy for consumers. Without a doubt, the Permian Basin is responsible for catapulting the U.S. into the role of the world’s top oil producer, providing us greater national security by reducing our reliance on imported sources of oil. Essential to this success is the skilled workforce and vast technical expertise of the West Texas Geological society and the region’s industry members.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter’s Eagle Ford Shale Task Force Gathers for Final Meeting

    Chairman Commends Members for Years of Service to South Texas
    September 28, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter assembled the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force for a final gathering Tuesday. He publicly commended the members at the Commission’s open meeting for helping the shale play develop responsibly by protecting natural resources when production began ramping up in 2011. 

    “I created this group because I suspected that the shale play had the potential to be one of the most important economic developments in Texas history, and it was,” Porter said. “We met to have productive, collaborative discussions about development in the Eagle Ford region with important stakeholders from across South Texas, so we could find the proper way to develop these resources while ensuring environmental protection. Our state is a better place because of their service.”

    In 2011, the Eagle Ford Shale rapidly became one of the largest domestic crude oil and natural gas discoveries in more than 40 years. Roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long, the shale play spreads across Texas from the Mexican border, covering 24 Texas counties. Because of its greater productivity of both oil and natural gas, as compared to other shale plays, the Eagle Ford quickly became one of the most successful and important energy plays in the world, helping the United States surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the number one producer of oil and gas liquids in the world in 2015.

    Chairman Porter’s Task Force was composed of 29 stakeholders total from various interests and areas of expertise. Their mission was three-fold: 

    1. Open the lines of communication between all parties
    2. Establish best practices for developing the Eagle Ford Shale
    3. Promote economic benefits locally and statewide 

    Its original members when it launched in 2011 were: 

    • Leodoro Martinez, Cotulla
    • Kirk Spilman, San Antonio
    • The Honorable Jaime Canales, Laredo
    • Teresa Carrillo, Corpus Christi
    • James E. Craddock, Houston
    • Erasmo Yarrito, Harlingen
    • Steve Ellis, Corpus Christi
    • The Honorable Daryl Fowler, Cuero
    • Brian Frederick, Houston
    • Anna Galo, Laredo
    • The Honorable Jim Huff, George West
    • Stephen Ingram, Houston
    • Mike Mahoney, General Manager, Pleasanton
    • James Max Moudy, Houston
    • Trey Scott, San Antonio
    • Mary Beth, Houston
    • Terry Retzloff, Campbellton
    • Greg Brazaitis, Houston
    • Glynis Strause, Beeville
    • Susan Spratlen, Dallas
    • Chris Winland, Austin/San Antonio
    • Paul Woodard, Palestine
    • The Honorable Barbara Shaw, Karnes City
    • Paula Seydel, Carrizo Springs 

    Additional members were added in 2014. They were: 

    • Grant Ruckel, Austin
    • Mark D. Petrichuk, Houston
    • Martin Medina, Houston
    • Dr. Les Shepherd, San Antonio
    • David Leaverton, Dallas  

    ###

    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for July 2016

    September 23, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for July 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 75,496,802 barrels of crude oil and 611,028,291 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, July 2015, was: 76,150,903 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 91,062,232 barrels; and 656,846,810 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 750,083,314 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.011 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary July 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,435,381 barrels daily, compared to the 2,456,481 barrels daily average of July 2015.

    Texas preliminary July 2016 total gas production averaged 19,710,590 mcf a day, compared to the 21,188,607 mcf daily average of July 2015.

    Texas production in July 2016 came from 183,260 oil wells and 92,238 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics,  visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.


    TABLE 1
      JULY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    5,650,823

        2.

    MIDLAND

    5,435,748

        3.

    MARTIN

    3,918,580

        4.

    DEWITT

    3,914,244

        5.

    UPTON

    3,629,564

        6.

    LA SALLE

    3,598,262

        7.

    REEVES

    3,163,406

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,962,065

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,903,942

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    2,750,306

     

    TABLE 2 – JULY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    55,623,825

        2.

    TARRANT

    41,117,508

        3.

    PANOLA

    25,370,707

        4.

    DIMMIT

    25,110,154

        5.

    KARNES

    21,176,398

        6.

    DEWITT

    20,472,064

        7.

    JOHNSON

    18,367,329

        8.

    WISE

    17,751,360

        9.

    LA SALLE

    17,040,640

      10.

    DENTON

    15,115,368

     

    TABLE 3 – JULY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    2,029,851

        2.

    KARNES

    1,340,080

        3.

    WEBB

    1,102,993

        4.

    CULBERSON

    980,660

        5.

    DEWITT

    941,288

        6.

    REEVES

    457,870

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    427,786

        8.

    LA SALLE

    318,736

        9.

    LOVING

    210,151

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    151,896

     

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Presents State of Energy Industry at Houston Events Today

    September 15, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton spoke to a crowd of more than 150 about the state of the energy industry and how it affects businesses in Texas at a luncheon today hosted by the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been building business, leaders and community for more than 43 years. Sitton also discussed his work at the Railroad Commission on behalf of all Texans. 

    Earlier this morning, Sitton gave the keynote address to 200 business leaders at a breakfast meeting hosted by Houston Realty Business Coalition (HRBC), Houston’s premier business coalition. 

    “No one does a better job of producing oil and gas than Texas,” Sitton said. “The energy industry in Texas is leading America toward a position of global energy leadership. And the hard work of Texas energy producers is making our country more safe and prosperous. The Railroad Commission will continue to foster an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

    Sitton talking to audience

    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.Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.
  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Sept. 12 Conference

    September 14, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $540,152 in fines involving 238 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $194,148 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $117,004 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $229,000 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Delivers Keynote Address at PPROA Convention

    September 13, 2016

    AMARILLO — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton gave the keynote address today at the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association Convention, hosted in Amarillo. Sitton examined trends, legislative and regulatory challenges, and technical advancements in the energy industry. Sitton also discussed his work at the Railroad Commission on behalf of all Texans. 

    “No one does a better job of producing oil and gas than Texas,” Sitton said. “The energy industry in Texas is leading America toward a position of global energy leadership. And the hard work of Texas energy producers is making our country more safe and prosperous. The Railroad Commission will continue to foster an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

    Sitton speaking to audience


    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.Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

     

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for August 2016

    September 09, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 660 original drilling permits in August 2016 compared to 864 in August 2015. The August total included 512 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, eight to re-enter plugged well bores and 140 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued August 2016 included 203 oil, 24 gas, 392 oil or gas, 26 injection, zero service and 15 other permits.

    In August 2016, Commission staff processed 545 oil, 223 gas, 46 injection and eight other completions compared to 1,113 oil, 172 gas, 36 injection and 11 other completions in August 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 8,107 down from 14,665 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of September 9 was 245, representing about 48 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – AUGUST 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    70

    81

    42

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    19

    42

    62

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    29

    49

    44

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    22

    1

    6

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    11

    15

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    29

    5

    8

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    30

    13

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    47

    30

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    275

    226

    18

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    74

    55

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    22

    21

    9

    (10) PANHANDLE

    32

    7

    32

    TOTAL

    660

    545

    223

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Discusses Energy Industry at Houston NW Chamber Luncheon

    September 08, 2016

    HOUSTON — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton gave the keynote address at the Houston NW Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon, hosted in Houston, Texas, on Sept. 8. Sitton discussed the state of the Texas energy industry and his work at the Railroad Commission on behalf of all Texans.

    “No one does a better job of producing oil and gas than Texas,” Sitton said. “The energy industry in Texas is leading America toward a position of global energy leadership. And the hard work of Texas energy producers is making our country more safe and prosperous. The Railroad Commission will continue to foster an environment where energy can be responsibly produced as efficiently and effectively as possible.”



    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. Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • Commissioner Christi Craddick Highlights Importance of the Coastal Bend in Keeping Texas a Leader in Energy Production

    September 02, 2016

    CORPUS CHRISTI – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick this week outlined the importance of Port Corpus Christi and the entire Coastal Bend region in the flow of energy exports from Texas. Commissioner Craddick made her comments in a joint meeting Thursday with the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi.

    “Less than a year ago, the first crude oil exports to leave U.S. shores in more than 40 years set sail from Port Corpus Christi showing Texas energy will compete and win anywhere in the world, and the Coastal Bend will help us lead the charge,” Commissioner Craddick said. “The role of the port in helping Texas remain a global energy leader cannot be overstated, and in fact will only grow more critical with a new harbor bridge and massive infrastructure improvements on the way.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

August

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Aug. 24 Conference

    August 26, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $894,926 in fines involving 236 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $545,429 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $77,247 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $272,250 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for June 2016

    August 26, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for June 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 72,856,376 barrels of crude oil and 604,263,761 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, June 2015, was: 73,017,089 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 87,826,484 barrels; and 615,762,474 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 723,224,727 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.013 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary June 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,428,546 barrels daily, compared to the 2,433,903 barrels daily average of June 2015. 

    Texas preliminary June 2016 total gas production averaged 20,142,125 mcf a day, compared to the 20,525,416 mcf daily average of June 2015.

    Texas production in June 2016 came from 185,622 oil wells and 93,371 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  JUNE 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    5,235,567

        2.

    MIDLAND

    4,836,993

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,369,220

        4.

    LA SALLE

    3,584,007

        5.

    UPTON

    3,453,833

        6.

    MARTIN

    3,449,683

        7.

    REEVES

    3,091,494

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,883,414

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,827,109

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    2,588,359


    TABLE 2 – JUNE 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    64,547,727

        2.

    TARRANT

    40,997,506

        3.

    DIMMIT

    24,023,542

        4.

    PANOLA

    23,133,817

        5.

    DEWITT

    19,604,920

        6.

    JOHNSON

    18,469,829

        7.

    KARNES

    17,478,485

        8.

    WISE

    17,311,244

        9.

    DENTON

    15,526,515

      10.

    LA SALLE

    14,700,359

     
    TABLE 3 – JUNE 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,898,677

        2.

    WEBB

    1,231,364

        3.

    KARNES

    1,078,986

        4.

    CULBERSON

    838,787

        5.

    DEWITT

    766,681

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    457,460

        7.

    REEVES

    416,848

        8.

    LA SALLE

    211,912

        9.

    WHEELER

    192,549

      10.

    LOVING

    175,391

  • Commissioner Craddick Cites Importance of Pipeline Safety as State’s Energy Infrastructure Grows

    August 25, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to members of the Texas pipeline industry today at the annual Railroad Commission Pipeline Safety Conference in San Antonio. Pipeline operators from across the state attended the conference to learn about new or changing rules at the state and federal level and to exchange ideas and best practices with industry members.

    “As we have watched major growth in U.S. energy development, the expansion of pipeline infrastructure has also skyrocketed,” Craddick said. “Today, Texas has more than 439,000 miles of pipeline, representing the most total pipeline mileage in the United States.

    “Pipelines are critical to the safe and timely transport of our resources,” Craddick said. “And, regulation of the pipeline industry is one of the most important duties of the Railroad Commission in protecting our citizens and enabling the industry to keep pace with transporting our increasing energy supplies. As regulation of pipelines evolves, we will continue to ensure that industry has the information they need to safely operate in Texas.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton Opinion

    Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part - GUD No. 10358: Rate-setting proceeding regarding Westlake Pipeline severed from GUD No. 10296
    August 24, 2016

    AUSTIN—I concur with Commissioner Craddick’s view that the appropriate net invested capital input for the Mustang pipeline, if a cost-of-service methodology is utilized, is $25,764,021 as originally calculated and recommended by the examiner.[1]   I voted to approve the final order in this case to provide the parties certainty rather than allow this case to sit in limbo indefinitely.


    However, I respectfully dissent from the approach the other two commissioners took to use a cost-of-service methodology to set the rate in this case. [2] In 2007, the Texas Legislature granted the Railroad Commission authority to set market-based rates for common carrier pipelines in Texas [3] – I believe that is what should have been done in this case.  

    The cost-of-service approach used in this particular case would seem to require identical “twin” pipelines in every case to derive a market-based rate.   In other words, the commission could never adopt a market-based rate for common carrier pipelines because pipeline infrastructure is almost never constructed such that “twins” exist. Market-based rates for common carrier pipelines would incentivize necessary investment in our critical pipeline infrastructure and ensure that Texas remains a global energy leader.   We missed an opportunity in this case to begin the process of setting market-based rates for common carrier pipelines. Fortunately, the Final Order has language limiting the precedential value of the decision.[4] I am hopeful that we can get it right and set a market-based rate the next time we are presented with this issue.

    The Final Order declares that the relevant market, for purposes of this case, is “the market between the pair of the receipt and delivery points between Mont Belvieu and Longview.”[5] The order makes this declaration in spite of the fact that both parties to the proceeding acknowledged that the “Gulf Coast Region” was the appropriate ethylene market comparison and that a market-based rate could be derived by appropriately examining other pipeline tariffs in that region.[6]

    It is important to understand the limitations of the information that is going to be available to the commission when setting market-based common carrier rates. It would be extremely rare to see multiple pipelines running in parallel from point A to point B that carry the same products and volumes. Competitive alternatives also might not exist for transport from point A to point B in some situations. If we understand those facts, we can move on to an appropriate examination of what we should consider to set a market-based rate.

    In this case, the commission is distracted by the fact that there is only one ethylene pipeline carrying product from Longview to Mont Belvieu. The commission therefore concludes that the market is not competitive so a market-based rate cannot be set. I view the case, and the information necessary to set a market-based rate, differently.

    In order to determine a “proxy” market-based rate for a pipeline that doesn’t operate in a competitive market, the following criteria could be considered:

    1. Whether the proxy rate was set by agreement between the parties
    2. At the proxy origination point and termination point, there are a number of options to utilize or to transport the product or there is a reasonable basis to compare the different origination or termination points
    3. There is at least one alternative method of transportation (rail, truck, etc.) to the proxy
    4. The pipelines operate in similar markets

    In the case before the commission today pipeline tariff rates were considered that met those criteria. In fact, the Concha Chemical Pipeline, originating in Napoleonville, LA, and terminating in Mont Belvieu, meets all of those criteria. It was established that:

    1. The rates on the Concha pipeline were established in negotiation between the pipeline operator and its customers;
    2. In the Napoleonville, LA area, there are a number of options to utilize to transport the product; and
    3. There are other pipeline routes, albeit somewhat difficult to use, plus rail and truck, to use as alternatives to the Concha pipeline
    4. The Concha and Mustang pipelines are in the same Gulf Coast market

    Based on those criteria, it is clear that the Concha pipeline is charging a market-based rate. In other words, it must be worth it to the shipper to spend the money charged to move the product from the origination to termination points.

    In addition to the Concha pipeline, at least five other ethylene pipeline tariffed rates were examined in this case.[7] Eastman argued that a sixth pipeline, the Evangeline Pipeline, should also have been considered.[8] It is clear though that the Concha pipeline is the best proxy for the Mustang Pipeline.

    The termination point of the Concha and Mustang pipelines is the same - Mont Belvieu, TX.[9] However, their origination points are different; Napoleonville, LA and Longview, TX respectively. Therefore, in order to establish similarity between the pipelines for the sake of market comparison, a basis for comparing the origination points must first be established.

    Napoleonville, LA is an open market, with substantial processing facilities in the area, plus pipeline transportation, trucking, and rail transport options. In the case of Longview, TX, there are other limited transportation options, but less processing capabilities. Therefore, it could be assumed that the ethylene product would be “more valuable” if located in Napoleonville than in Longview, and therefore, the value in transporting the product from Longview to Mont Beliveu would be at least the same as the value in moving the product from Napoleonville to Mont Belvieu.

    There was discussion in the record regarding the cost impacts distance has as a pipeline moves a product. While a valid consideration in identifying a cost basis (and relevant to cost of service), these distances actually have very little to do with the market value of moving product and wouldn’t be considered in setting a market-based rate. I think the analysis described above is how we should develop future market-based common carrier rates.

    Once we establish a competitive market-based “proxy” rate that is substantially similar as detailed above, which could have been effectively done based on the record in this case, I think the evidentiary review can end and a market-based rate should be set.

    The crux of this case was fairly simple in my opinion. I previously voted to remand the case because I thought it was clear that setting a market-based rate was relatively simple and the right public policy direction. Unfortunately, the commission has continued down a path with predictable consequences that must be addressed.

    First, once the commission’s final order in this case is effective, the VERY NEXT DAY, either party could file for another ratemaking proceeding based on new test year information or other cost input data changes. What will have taken us three years to decide, if not appealed to the Travis County District Court, could immediately be back before us.

    Next, the fact that two WIDELY DISPARATE rates in the two proposed final orders presented to the commission were based on simply one cost input change makes clear how subjective, and inappropriate, the cost-of-service approach can be. In one of the proposed final orders we were asked to apply a rate of $2.45 per hundred pounds of ethylene transported. The alternative final order proposed a rate of $1.55 per hundred pounds of ethylene transported. Changing one cost input (in this instance Westlake’s net invested capital) in the cost-of-service model resulted in a 37 percent change in the rate. And there has been significant disagreement regarding the correct amount of that one cost input. This kind of variability would be avoided if the market-based approach were utilized.

    Finally, it should be abundantly clear to everyone that Westlake wants to charge a higher rate and Eastman wants to pay the lowest possible rate. Both companies are in business to make money after all. It causes uncertainty for both companies when the commission takes an inordinately long amount of time to rule on these cases. I strongly believe that a market-based rate examination can and should be faster and more efficient to hear and decide than a cost-of-service ratemaking proceeding, if done properly. We will still have disagreements about the appropriate market and proxy rates, but there will be fewer arguments than there are in a cost-of-service situation where investment, depreciation, rate-of-return, allowances for operating capital, operating expenses, volumes, etc., are all vigorously debated. In the interest of regulatory efficiency, we should have a speedy process to hear evidence and set a market-based rate. If we move in that direction, my expectation will be that these cases will be decided much more quickly.

    In conclusion, I appreciate the work our staff did on this case and I respect the other commissioners’ views. I think it was the wrong decision for the reasons articulated above and I am hopeful that we will quickly move to set market-based rates for common carrier pipelines as the Legislature envisioned.        

     


    [1] GUD Docket No. 10358, Final Order dated August 24, 2016, Finding of Fact 78

    [2] The decision was made by the commission at its June 21, 2016 conference to only consider a cost-of-service approach.

    [3] TEX. NAT. RES. CODE ANN. § 81.061(b)

    [4] GUD Docket No. 10358, Final Order dated August 24, 2016, Conclusion of Law 17

    [5] GUD Docket No. 10358, Final Order dated August 24, 2016, Finding of Fact 48.

    [6] See Eastman Chemical Company, Exceptions to the Remand Proposal for Decision, Railroad Commission p. 16 (May 13, 2016); Westlake Ethylene Pipeline Corporation, Exceptions to the Proposal for Decision, Railroad Commission p. 4 (May 13, 2016).

    [7] See Remand Proposal for Decision p. 12.

    [8] Westlake claimed Evangeline was not used by either side’s experts because that pipeline, “has suffered significant reliability issues and therefore is not appropriate for inclusion in setting a market-based rate,” Westlake Responses to Eastman’s Exceptions p. 6.

    [9] See Appendix 3 to Remand Proposal for Decision, Labeled “Ethylene Tariffs in Effect July 2013”.


    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.Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative Will Reduce Bureaucracy, Save Oil Patch Jobs

    by Commissioner Christi Craddick
    August 23, 2016

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick’s editorial on her Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative and its impact on the current and long-term success of Texas’ oil and gas industry published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph Monday.

    “The Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative builds upon the successes we have already achieved and makes the agency more effective in the way it regulates the production of energy,” Craddick said. “It means we are applying common sense to reduce bureaucracy so that oil and gas companies can save costs they would have spent complying with over-burdensome rules and instead use those dollars to put Texans back to work in the oilfield. Ultimately, it means business is easier to conduct in Texas, attracting more oil and gas producers to our state, creating more jobs and safely producing more energy. It means Texas can help move the U.S. that much closer to energy independence.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Discusses Energy Education at Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

    August 18, 2016

    PASADENA, TX —  Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton gave the keynote address at the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon, hosted in Pasadena on Aug. 18. Sitton discussed the state of the Texas energy industry and his work at the Railroad Commission on behalf of all Texans.

    “It’s important that Texans understand how their energy is produced and what impact the industry has on our state,” Sitton said. “In our daily lives, oil and gas can be found in everything from our gas tanks to our computers. Its reach is unparalleled.” 

    Oil and gas make up 40 percent of the Texas economy and is responsible for nearly 400,000 jobs. In 2015, the industry paid $13.8 billion in taxes, funding our state’s infrastructure, public schools and highways.


    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.Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Aug. 9 Conference

    August 12, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $933,738 in fines involving 536 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $222,901 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $75,837 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $635,000 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Railroad Commissioner Sitton Keynotes Summer NAPE Conference

    August 10, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton gave the keynote address at the Summer NAPE Business Conference, hosted in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 10. The conference brings together executives, experts and speakers to examine trends, legislative and regulatory challenges, and technical advancements in the energy industry. 

    In his presentation “The Energy Race,” Sitton discussed commodity pricing and how the U.S. will change its role from an energy importer to energy exporter. 

    “No one does a better job producing oil and gas than Texas,” Sitton said. “The U.S. was once labeled a declining producer, but we’ve now overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia for the claim of being the No. 1 oil and gas producer in the world. As the leading producer of oil and gas in the country, Texas is uniquely poised to take advantage of the next oil boom.” 

    Sitton also discussed what role the Railroad Commission of Texas will have in securing the energy future of the U.S. and how the surge in the nation’s oil and gas production in the past five years has led to a restructuring of the global energy industry, diminishing the influence of OPEC.

    Sitton speaking at NAPE


    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.Ryan Sitton is one of the world’s leading energy experts. He is the first engineer to serve on the Commission in 50 years. A native Texan who grew up in the Irving area, Sitton is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and met his wife, Jennifer. In 2006, Ryan and Jennifer founded PinnacleART, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and wastewater industries. As Railroad Commissioner, Ryan is working to make the Commission more efficient and effective so Texas can lead America to energy independence.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for July 2016

    August 10, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 631 original drilling permits in July 2016 compared to 979 in July 2015. The July total included 514 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, seven to re-enter plugged well bores and 110 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued July 2016 included 166 oil, 34 gas, 397 oil or gas, 27 injection, zero service and seven other permits.

    In July 2016, Commission staff processed 568 oil, 243 gas, 44 injection and one other completions compared to 1,510 oil, 235 gas, 37 injection and nine other completions in July 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 7,285 down from 13,333 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of August 5 was 217, representing about 47 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – JULY 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    85

    51

    69

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    29

    64

    74

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    28

    47

    8

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    22

    2

    9

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    7

    18

    7

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    14

    6

    16

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    30

    27

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    62

    42

    4

    (8) MIDLAND

    229

    250

    14

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    67

    31

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    42

    24

    24

    (10) PANHANDLE

    16

    6

    16

    TOTAL

    631

    568

    243

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick Announces Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative

    August 09, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today announced details of her Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative as the first rule amendments of the project were rolled out during the Commissioners’ open conference. The initiative improves efficiencies for the state’s energy regulatory body, as well as oil and gas producers working to sustain business operations during the current downturn in the energy sector. The initiative will reduce the regulatory administrative burden on industry while ensuring the Commission continues to protect the public and environment.  

    “This initiative is part of my ongoing efforts to adjust our processes and put in place common sense practices that achieve greater effectiveness in regulating energy the way it is produced today,” Craddick said.

    “During my time at the Commission, these efforts have not only included a reevaluation of our methods and rules, but also an overhaul of our IT programs.

    “This initiative is an extension of our commitment to best serve Texas with innovative regulatory practices, yet calls for a more thorough review in a time of industry slow-down when we should find ways to save time and money for the state and those doing business at the agency,” Craddick said. “These initial ideas brought forth in the initiative will save extensive time for our staff and tens of millions of dollars for oil and gas operators. This initiative serves as phase one of a long-term effort to streamline our operations that our executive director and staff will continue to carry out.”

    The initiative results from a comprehensive review of the Commission’s regulatory processes, and takes careful consideration to avoid weakening public and environmental protections, correlative rights, or measures designed to prevent the waste of resources.

    The initiative is receiving broad praise from industry-related members:

    “With the current industry downturn, at stake is the survival of the state's small producers and the oil industry's many marginal wells, which make up 85 percent of total U.S. oil wells and 18 percent of the nation's total oil output,” said Judy Stark, Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association Executive Vice President. “During this critical time, Commissioner Craddick's initiative will provide relief to Texas' independent producers, the backbone of both our state and nation’s oil industry. For that, PPROA's members are truly grateful.”

    “The Commission’s efforts could not be more timely given the current economic struggles the industry faces,” said Ben Shepperd, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President. “Throughout its history, the Railroad Commission has continually evolved to perform its duties in the most effective manner possible.  The Permian Basin Petroleum Association applauds Commissioner Craddick’s leadership of this effort.”

     “As Chairman of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, I applaud the leadership of Commissioner Craddick and pledge our participation and support of her regulatory initiative,” said Bob Osborne. “The challenges facing the oil and gas industry have never been greater, and our contribution to the State's economy never more important.”

    “TIPRO applauds Commissioner Craddick’s leadership in developing an initiative that will provide necessary and timely improvements to the efficiency of Railroad Commission procedures and practices,” said Ed Longanecker, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association President. “These reforms will provide much needed relief to operators across the state as we continue to confront depressed commodity prices.”

    “Texas’ oil and natural gas industry is the lifeblood of our economy in terms of jobs, economic activity and state and local tax revenue,” said Todd Staples, Texas Oil and Gas Association President. “I commend the Commission for their work on the Oilfield Relief Initiative and their commitment to ensure that the oil and natural gas industry continues to anchor our economy, protect our environment and provide for Texas families well into the future.”

    Commissioner Craddick’s Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative includes the following items for implementation:

    • Identify agency reports and filings that can be reduced or eliminated, saving operating costs without impacting public or environmental safety.
      • Amend Statewide Rule (SWR) 28 to modify gas well deliverability reporting requirements.
      • Reduce the need for G-10 (Gas Well Status Report) filings except for surface commingled production. 
    • Allow a calculated well shut-in pressure to be provided when filing Form G-10 for gas wells to reduce regulatory administrative burden. 
    • Amend production requirements for marginal and stripper wells to reduce regulatory administrative burdens. 
      • Revise “Active Oil Well” definition from ten barrels of oil (BO) per month for 3 consecutive months to five BO per month for 3 consecutive months or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15). 
      • Revise “Active Gas Well” definition from 100 mcfg per month to 50 mcfg per month or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15). 
    • Implement a revised internal inspection priority system so Commission inspectors prioritize drilling rig inspections and hydraulic fracture treatments in sensitive areas like cities or wetlands without affecting other inspections. 
    • The agency’s new on-line completion program calculates the depth of cement behind casing (cement tops) using washout factors that have been used by the Commission for decades. A review of these washout factors should be conducted to determine whether different washout factors should be used in certain areas of the state to calculate cement tops. This will expedite the process of verifying compliance with these rules for both operators and the agency without compromising well integrity. 
    • The Groundwater Advisory Unit (GAU) will identify counties or portions of counties in which the usable quality water protection depth is constant. Those areas will be eligible for area-wide recommendations for meeting surface casing requirements, streamlining regulatory requirements for industry.  
    • Issue guidance for implementation of the Texas Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Privilege Act, permitting operators of new property to identify and remedy violations resulting previous to their ownership. This ensures compliance without punishing an operator not responsible for the cause of the violation. 
    • Conduct an extensive review of all Railroad Commission forms required for application and reporting purposes and determine whether data collected is currently used or no longer necessary. Eliminate forms no longer useful to the Commission’s regulatory functions to reduce regulatory administrative burden on staff and industry. 
    • Simplify the complete duplication of a drilling permit application with a sworn statement of no changes to the original application. The operator would then pay the fee for reissuance of the permit, speeding up the review process and reducing regulatory administrative burden for both the agency and industry.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

July

  • Commissioner Craddick Discusses RRC Emergency Preparedness at National Petroleum Council Meeting

    July 29, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today highlighted Texas’ energy agency’s emergency response policies and actions during recent flooding in Texas at the 126th meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC) in Washington D.C. At today’s meeting, council members discussed implementing the NPC’s 2014 report Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters.

    “In the event of a natural disaster-related emergency, the Railroad Commission has a standing State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) response team that works alongside the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM),” Craddick said.

    “The Commission’s SOC team serves in a support capacity for first responders, and as necessary, assists incident command with data, information and technical expertise. Our SOC team was most recently deployed during the state’s historic flooding in the spring of this year.

    “In addition to emergency preparedness and response procedures, our agency maintains a robust inspection schedule, inspecting close to 135,000 oil and gas leases and other related facilities each year,” Craddick said. “A vigorous inspection process allows the Commission to do everything it can within our regulatory framework to minimize the impact a disaster may have on infrastructure related to energy development within the state.”

    The NPC is a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy. From 1946 until the implementation of the U.S. Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, the NPC served as an advisory body to the Secretary of the Interior. The sole purpose of the Council is to advise, inform, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Energy, at his request, on matters pertaining to oil and natural gas or oil and gas industries.

    A video archive of the NPC meeting will be available on the NPC website: www.npc.org. The NPC’s 2014 report Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters is available here: http://www.npc.org/reports/2014-Emergency_Preparedness-lr.pdf


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for May 2016

    July 27, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for May 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 73,131,246 barrels of crude oil and 600,746,804 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, May 2015, was: 75,309,757 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 91,639,468 barrels; and 639,101,169 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 748,018,555 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.014 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary May 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,359,072 barrels daily, compared to the 2,429,347 barrels daily average of May 2015.

    Texas preliminary May 2016 total gas production averaged 19,378,929 mcf a day, compared to the 20,616,167 mcf daily average of May 2015.

    Texas production in May 2016 came from 185,190 oil wells and 93,622 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  MAY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    5,468,676

        2.

    MIDLAND

    5,143,841

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,704,228

        4.

    LA SALLE

    3,904,069

        5.

    UPTON

    3,577,289

        6.

    MARTIN

    3,468,266

        7.

    MCMULLEN

    2,882,904

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,822,304

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,717,234

      10.

    LOVING

    2,325,106


    TABLE 2 – MAY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    53,697,793

        2.

    TARRANT

    38,807,419

        3.

    PANOLA

    26,266,009

        4.

    DIMMIT

    23,257,347

        5.

    DEWITT

    21,351,633

        6.

    KARNES

    20,008,377

        7.

    JOHNSON

    19,368,266

        8.

    LA SALLE

    17,015,549

        9.

    WISE

    16,638,867

      10.

    DENTON

    14,456,315


    TABLE 3 – MAY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    2,017,742

        2.

    WEBB

    1,259,324

        3.

    KARNES

    1,072,021

        4.

    CULBERSON

    883,223

        5.

    DEWITT

    823,011

        6.

    REEVES

    486,592

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    462,098

        8.

    LA SALLE

    259,994

        9.

    LOVING

    240,725

      10.

    WHEELER

    215,067

     

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for June 2016

    July 11, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 656 original drilling permits in June 2016 compared to 851 in June 2015. The June total included 506 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, four to re-enter plugged well bores and 146 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued June 2016 included 226 oil, 29 gas, 356 oil or gas, 37 injection, two service and six other permits.

    In June 2016, Commission staff processed 700 oil, 165 gas, 31 injection and four other completions compared to 1,416 oil, 225 gas, 64 injection and five other completions in June 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 6,429 down from 11,542 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of July 8 was 201, representing about 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – JUNE 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    49

    75

    33

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    59

    48

    30

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    11

    88

    29

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    26

    2

    5

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    10

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    13

    7

    19

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    19

    18

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    54

    49

    2

    (8) MIDLAND

    302

    317

    5

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    66

    24

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    27

    59

    25

    (10) PANHANDLE

    20

    10

    16

    TOTAL

    656

    700

    165

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter Testifies before U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

    Testimony focuses on federal overreach of EPA’s Clean Air Act
    July 06, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter testified today before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, condemning recent rulemaking by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). His testimony focused specifically on recent EPA Methane rules, the Clean Power Plan and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Porter said EPA has failed to base its regulations on sound science and their economic impact to both energy producers and to consumers, which, he asserted, the Commission has done for over a century.

    “History shows that decreases in emissions and improved environmental conditions come about as a result of innovative technological advances and market-driven efficiencies, not through the massive overreach of federal bureaucrats,” Porter said.

    “The Commission’s rulemaking decisions are based on sound science and potential economic impacts to all Texans.  When businesses are forced to stifle innovation and instead operate as bureaucracies, which EPA seems intent on achieving through its unwarranted and overreaching rules, both consumers and the environment pay the price.”

    Porter criticized the recent CAA rulemakings for:

    • minimal interaction and consultation with Texas and other State regulatory authorities;
    • underestimated or ignored compliance costs;
    • overestimated, unjustified and exaggerated regulatory and environmental benefits;
    • increased regulatory and economic burdens on operating companies, particularly smaller oil and gas operators who make up an overwhelming majority of the industry in Texas; and
    • creation of “one-size-fits-all” regulations that ignore the significant differences in regional operating conditions and State regulatory systems.

    “The underlying themes have been the consolidation of increased regulatory power in the federal government to the detriment of state authority, and the circumvention of the regulatory authority granted to EPA by Congress,” Porter said.  “I respectfully urge this committee to take the Railroad Commission’s comments on the CAA rulemaking by EPA seriously; impede this administration from further assuming unconstitutional powers and obtrusive regulations on states; and ensure that our nation continues to serve as the global energy leader we are today.”

     To  review Chairman Porter’s full testimony, click here.  


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

June

  • ICYMI: Railroad Commissioner Sitton Discusses the Importance of Texas Natural Gas & the Trans-Pecos Pipeline

    June 28, 2016

    AUSTIN —Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton discusses the importance of natural gas to Texas’ future and how vital the Trans-Pecos pipeline will be to both Texas and Mexico in two interviews with the Midland Reporter-Telegram this week. 

    In Case You Missed It, Commissioner Sitton’s discussion on Texas’ role in natural gas production and how he feels the federal government unnecessarily takes too long when permitting liquefied natural gas export facilities can be found here. 

    Sitton also outlines the importance of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline to Texas and Mexico 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.

  • Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton Names Director of Public Affairs

    June 27, 2016

    AUSTIN — Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton has named Katie McKee his new Director of Public Affairs where she will lead the development and implementation of a strategic outreach and public relations plan. 

    In this role, McKee’s primary goal is communicating the work of the Railroad Commission to the people of Texas on behalf of Commissioner Sitton. 

    “Katie has an impressive communications background and she will do an outstanding job helping me communicate with 27 million Texans,” Commissioner Ryan Sitton said.

    “I’ve said from the day I was sworn in that communication was going to be a top priority in my office. The only way Texans will feel confident that we are responsibly producing energy is by getting them comprehensive and timely information — Katie will do a great job helping me do that.” 

    Previously, McKee served as an account executive and account associate at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. There she provided a wide range of public relations services for various clients, such as Texas Mutual Insurance Company, St. David’s HealthCare, Trinity University, Southwestern University, The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, and TIBH Industries, among others. 

    Prior to joining ECPR, McKee worked in digital communications and marketing at Texas Tech University’s international K-12 online school. She played a key role in launching the school’s digital presence, developing social media campaign strategies and content, and providing graphic design support. As a former print journalist, McKee also brings valuable newsroom experience to her work. 

    McKee graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. She is involved in volunteer activities in the city of Austin, and serves as the Vice President of Communications for the Women Communicators of Austin. 


     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.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ June 21 Conference

    June 24, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $669,185 in fines involving 241 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $410,010 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $9,625 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $249,550 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for April 2016

    June 24, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for April 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 74,597,958 barrels of crude oil and 616,993,278 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, April 2015, was: 69,595,733 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 90,324,013 barrels; and 587,178,094 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 730,551,647 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.021 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary April 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,486,599 barrels daily, compared to the 2,319,858 barrels daily average of April 2015. 

    Texas preliminary April 2016 total gas production averaged 20,566,443 mcf a day, compared to the 19,572,603 mcf daily average of April 2015.

    Texas production in April 2016 came from 185,299 oil wells and 93,334 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

     
    TABLE 1  APRIL 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    5,755,004

        2.

    DEWITT

    4,543,793

        3.

    MIDLAND

    4,344,750

        4.

    LA SALLE

    4,156,889

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,617,768

        6.

    UPTON

    3,466,532

        7.

    ANDREWS

    3,033,432

        8.

    REEVES

    3,001,018

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,846,471

      10.

    GONZALES

    2,526,764

     
    TABLE 2 – APRIL 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    63,394,621

        2.

    TARRANT

    41,948,568

        3.

    PANOLA

    24,483,646

        4.

    DIMMIT

    22,280,615

        5.

    DEWITT

    20,535,584

        6.

    JOHNSON

    19,359,780

        7.

    KARNES

    18,212,412

        8.

    WISE

    17,618,938

        9.

    LA SALLE

    17,236,209

      10.

    DENTON

    15,970,227


    TABLE 3 – APRIL 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,875,624

        2.

    WEBB

    1,312,617

        3.

    KARNES

    995,389

        4.

    CULBERSON

    841,893

        5.

    DEWITT

    812,942

        6.

    REEVES

    413,829

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    409,107

        8.

    LA SALLE

    272,063

        9.

    WHEELER

    257,272

      10.

    LOVING

    236,730

  • Commissioner Craddick Directs Railroad Commission Staff to Review Processes, Find Efficiencies

    June 21, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today at the Commission’s open meeting directed agency staff to conduct a full review of the Commission’s rules and processes. This initiative is designed to both create efficiencies at the agency and reduce regulatory burdens on industry without impacting environmental or public safety during a slowdown in oil and gas activity in Texas. 

    “During my time at the Commission, I have often discussed with our staff, industry members, trade associations and others, areas where the Commission can be more efficient, more effective, and simply do its job better,” Craddick said. “In light of the current downturn, I feel it is appropriate to look at certain ways to save time and money for both the State of Texas and for those doing business at the Commission. I look forward to the staff’s feedback as we prepare to launch this initiative at our next Railroad Commission Conference on Aug. 9.”



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Talks Future of Texas with Youth Leaders from Across the State

    June 17, 2016

    AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick met with youth leaders from around Texas this week who have come together to learn leadership skills in government, politics and public service. Commissioner Craddick spoke with groups of high school students during the Texas Boys State and Texas Bluebonnet Girls State gatherings in Austin.

    “Nowhere in America is the future brighter than right here in Texas, and a big reason for that is the leadership I’ve seen in action by some of our state’s best and brightest young people this week,” said Commissioner Craddick. “As they have for generations, some of our state’s greatest opportunities – and greatest challenges – arise in the production of our energy resources, so it’s vital we do everything we can today, to prepare our leaders of tomorrow.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick with members of Texas Boys StateCommissioner Christi Craddick with members of Texas Boys State

    Commissioner Christi Craddick with Railroad Commissioner-Elect for Texas Girls State
    Commissioner Christi Craddick with Railroad Commissioner-Elect for Texas Girls State

     


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Chairman David Porter Preserves Texas History in Celebration of RRC’s 125th Anniversary

    June 14, 2016

    AUSTIN – In celebration of the Railroad Commission’s 125th Anniversary year, Chairman David Porter is working with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) to preserve the Commission’s history and legacy of service to the people of Texas. TAMI will digitize the Commission’s short documentary video produced in 1991, which marked the RRC’s 100th Anniversary. This project will not only preserve this piece of Commission history, but will make it widely available to the public and for use in Texas classrooms across the state.

    “The Railroad Commission has played a central role in shaping Texas history from the early days of rail travel across the state, to Texas’ rise as a global energy power,” said Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter. “It’s especially important Texans understand and appreciate how the Commission has successfully managed the safe, responsible exploration and production of our state’s abundant energy resources, and I’m grateful the Texas Archive of the Moving Image is helping us preserve that great history.”

    "The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is very pleased that the Railroad Commission of Texas has chosen to digitize their video collection through our free digitization program - a groundbreaking public history project,” said TAMI Managing Director Madeline Moya. “We know that their video, which documents Texas history and the agency's work, will be particularly useful in the classroom, so we plan to not only feature it on our website, but also in our free K-12 lesson plans relating to Texas industry and government."

    The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to discover, preserve, provide access to, and educate the community about Texas’ film heritage. Film and videotape were not made to last -- an estimated 90% of Texas-produced materials made before 1950 are considered lost to film decay due to heat, humidity, natural disasters, or simple neglect. TAMI works to rescue Texas-related films and videos before they are lost. By partnering with institutions and individuals across the state, TAMI digitizes and provides web access to thousands of moving images that offer insight to Texas history and culture.  Over three thousand films are available to view on the TAMI website, www.texasarchive.org

    Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter with TAMI Technical Director Afsheen Nomai.
    Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter (left) with TAMI Technical Director Afsheen Nomai.


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ June 7 Conference

    June 10, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $587,859 in fines involving 276 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    One operator was assessed $79,058 in one oil and gas protested docket that went to hearing. The final order can be found here. 

    Operators were assessed $96,579 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $69,422 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $342,800 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.  Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for May 2016

    June 08, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 606 original drilling permits in May 2016 compared to 916 in May 2015. The May total included 488 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 13 to re-enter plugged well bores and 105 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued May 2016 included 179 oil, 28 gas, 354 oil or gas, 17 injection, zero service and 28 other permits.

    In May 2016, Commission staff processed 760 oil, 199 gas, 60 injection and 11 other completions compared to 1,299 oil, 201 gas, 72 injection and seven other completions in May 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 5,529 down from 9,832 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of June 3 was 176, representing about 43 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – MAY 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    50

    54

    55

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    58

    88

    33

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    22

    72

    25

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    16

    0

    11

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    4

    10

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    28

    21

    24

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    35

    32

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    52

    54

    4

    (8) MIDLAND

    221

    304

    3

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    61

    52

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    45

    64

    26

    (10) PANHANDLE

    14

    9

    16

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Commissioner Craddick to Advise Department of Energy on National Energy Policy

    June 08, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick has accepted an invitation from United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, to serve as a member of the National Petroleum Council (the Council) for the 2016-17 term representing the views of States in public policy decision making at the federal level.

    “I am honored to accept Secretary Moniz’s invitation to serve as an information source on energy policy in the interest of Texas and all States,” Craddick said.

    “Throughout my time at the Commission, I have stood as an advocate on behalf of Texas’ depth of energy experience and knowledge, strength in regulatory structure and resulting successful energy growth. Texas provides an excellent model of effectiveness and efficiency for shaping national energy policies. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Moniz and my fellow Council members in advancing energy policy on behalf of the Department of Energy and the Nation.”

    Established by President Harry S. Truman in 1946, the Council is an advisory body to the Secretary and the Department of Energy, providing advice, information and recommendations on matters related to oil and natural gas and related industries, including governmental response to environmental and energy conservation, technology, legal issues, and emergency situations.



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Commissioners Today Ask AG’s Office to Consider Litigation Related to EPA Methane Rules

    June 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – All three Texas Railroad Commissioners are asking the Texas Attorney General to file a Petition for Review relating to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules over methane and other emissions from oil and gas wells and associated facilities. The Commissioners took this action today in their regularly scheduled, open Conference.

    Chairman David Porter said, “These rules are just another assault from the Obama Administration in its war against fossil fuels and a blatant attempt to forcibly take over the regulation of Texas’ oil and gas industry, a job the Railroad Commission has excelled at for almost a century. These overbearing regulations accomplish nothing other than encumbering business, wounding our economy and killing the jobs Texans rely on to support their families. I appreciate the Attorney General’s consideration in this matter and look forward to working together to protect our state from the oppressive ambitions of this Administration.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “These new rules would have little to no impact on the environment while placing an undue burden on an industry that is succeeding in this area on its own. As a natural response to the free market, methane emissions have dramatically fallen during recent energy growth, thanks to technology and industry leadership on the issue. One again, the EPA is improperly injecting bureaucracy and mandates where private business already thrives.”

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “The EPA’s methane rules will harm Texas energy producers and accomplish very little in terms of protecting the environment. EPA needs to follow the law, produce better scientific analysis, and properly consider the economic implications of their rules. I’m confident General Paxton will successfully challenge these flawed rules.”

     

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The Railroad Commission of Texas Collaborate

    Discuss findings of Study on Impacts of Drilling, Hydrofracturing and Extraction Near Joe Pool Dam
    June 03, 2016

    FORT WORTH – In keeping with their top priority of ensuring public safety, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Railroad Commission of Texas are collaborating to ensure the safety of the public and critical infrastructure while allowing responsible resource development and mineral exploration and production.   

    Both agencies will collaboratively review the findings of the Corps study completed in February 2016 that examined dam safety implications of drilling, hydrofracturing and extraction at Joe Pool Dam in Grand Prairie, Texas.  

    “In keeping with our priority of ensuring public safety, the Corps is pleased to work with the Railroad Commission to further ensure oil and gas exploration and other mineral extraction activities pose no threat to our critical facilities and infrastructure,” said Col. Calvin C. Hudson II, commander, Fort Worth District. 

    “Both our organizations are deeply committed to protecting public safety and our environment through sound, science-based regulation,” said Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton.  “Working with the Army Corps of Engineers to review the study in the area around Joe Pool Dam will lead to stronger collaboration between our agencies and bring to bear even greater expertise and resources to address this important issue.” 

    The goal of the study was to evaluate impacts associated with the development of the gas-rich Barnett Shale formation, which underlies Joe Pool Dam.  The initial results of the study indicated possible impacts associated with mineral extraction and possible solutions to help ensure overall public safety in that area. 


    About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and SWF Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/usacefortworth/


     

May

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for March 2016

    May 26, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for March 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 77,702,710 barrels of crude oil and 638,377,189 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, March 2015, was: 71,586,361 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 94,679,431 barrels; and 614,349,192 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 750,685,570 mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.024 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary March 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,506,539 barrels daily, compared to the 2,309,237 barrels daily average of March 2015. 

    Texas preliminary March 2016 total gas production averaged 20,592,813 mcf a day, compared to the 19,817,716 mcf daily average of March 2015. 

    Texas production in March 2016 came from 184,772 oil wells and 94,205 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  MARCH 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK
    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    6,103,255

        2.

    DEWITT

    5,265,583

        3.

    LA SALLE

    4,776,538

        4.

    MIDLAND

    4,486,585

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,680,302

        6.

    UPTON

    3,392,437

        7.

    REEVES

    3,066,132

        8.

    MCMULLEN

    2,936,448

        9.

    ANDREWS

    2,859,203

      10.

    GONZALES

    2,690,702

     

    TABLE 2 – MARCH 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    61,528,433

        2.

    TARRANT

    47,858,977

        3.

    PANOLA

    24,682,568

        4.

    DEWITT

    23,048,895

        5.

    DIMMIT

    22,394,804

        6.

    JOHNSON

    20,242,226

        7.

    KARNES

    19,161,584

        8.

    WISE

    18,864,714

        9.

    LA SALLE

    18,821,139

      10.

    DENTON

    17,887,393

     

    TABLE 3 – MARCH 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,980,037

        2.

    WEBB

    1,300,194

        3.

    KARNES

    1,099,214

        4.

    DEWITT

    898,932

        5.

    CULBERSON

    853,478

        6.

    REEVES

    472,403

        7.

    LIVE OAK

    434,365

        8.

    LA SALLE

    319,321

        9.

    LOVING

    229,522

      10.

    WHEELER

    222,895

  • Chairman David Porter Travels to Mexico in Support of Country’s First Post-Graduate Energy Law Program

    Applauds Nation’s Educators for Emphasis on Regulatory Certainty
    May 20, 2016

    MONTERREY – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today attended the inaugural commencement for the School of Law postgraduate program at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico to commemorate the graduation of the nation’s first class in energy law.

    “The rule of law and regulatory certainty are important for Mexico - and indeed any other country - for a successful oil and gas industry,” Chairman Porter said. “That is why the graduation ceremony of the first class of energy law is such an important event. I commend UANL educators for their foresight and leadership in designing and implementing Mexico’s first postgraduate degree in energy law. I also congratulate the law school graduates and current students for their hard work and dedication to this important program.”

    Jorge Canavati, a San Antonio businessman and professor at UANL’s School of Law, invited the chairman to join him at the event Friday morning, where the Secretary of Energy of Mexico, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, gave the keynote address.

    "What a privilege to have Secretary Coldwell and Chairman Porter at such an historic, important ceremony,” Canavati said. “This shows the symbiotic relationship between Mexico and Texas in energy matters."

    Prof. Canavati also invited Porter to act as a guest lecturer for his Basic Concepts in Energy Logistics course at UANL Friday evening. The seminar course was launched last year and is also the first of its kind in Mexico.


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for April 2016

    May 10, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 683 original drilling permits in April 2016 compared to 848 in April 2015. The April total included 473 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged well bores and 198 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued April 2016 included 209 oil, 36 gas, 403 oil or gas, 25 injection, zero service and 10 other permits.

    In April 2016, Commission staff processed 873 oil, 120 gas, 49 injection and five other completions compared to 1,867 oil, 314 gas, 125 injection and one other completions in April 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 4,499 down from 8,253 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of May 6 was 188, representing about 45 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – APRIL 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    77

    93

    15

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    75

    150

    15

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    21

    42

    19

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    18

    3

    11

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    17

    12

    21

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    29

    24

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    35

    55

    8

    (8) MIDLAND

    269

    402

    9

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    101

    31

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    25

    37

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    11

    21

    12

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ May 3 Conference

    May 09, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $538,119 in fines involving 225 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Operators were assessed $92,119 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.  Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $140,250 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $305,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found at Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

April

  • Statement from Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton on Sunset Staff Report Released Today

    April 29, 2016

    AUSTIN – The following is a statement from Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton on today’s release of the Sunset staff's report on the Railroad Commission of Texas: 

    "I appreciate the work of the Sunset Commission staff. Their report has some constructive recommendations, and we all agree that the Railroad Commission needs to provide excellent service to the people of the state of Texas and the industry we regulate. As the next phase of this process begins, I look forward to working with members of the Sunset Commission and the Legislature to ensure that our agency is exceeding expectations and doing the kind of job everyone in Texas can be proud of.  The Sunset staff report and our agency's response are the beginning of an important process that I'm confident will make this agency more efficient and effective."


    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.

  • Commissioner Craddick Encourages Oil & Gas Industry’s Lifeblood to Stay the Course at Texas Alliance Annual Meeting

    April 20, 2016

    WICHITA FALLS – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today noted the long-term growth expected for Texas’ oil and gas industry and praised the spirit and resilience of our state’s independent producers in keynote remarks at the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Annual meeting in Wichita Falls.

    “The oil and gas industry has seen its ebbs and flows over its long history in this state,” Craddick said. “Despite difficult times, Texas energy production remains a pillar of our economy, contributing 40 percent to state coffers. Independent producers are the backbone of the industry, and Texas oil and gas would not be what it is today without their determination and ingenuity. We cannot thank you enough for your hard work and commitment to keeping Texas first in energy production.”

    The Alliance has a combined membership of over 3,350 members and is the largest state independent oil and gas association in the nation. The Alliance brings together members for the common purpose of supporting the oil and gas industry and developing programs – including insurance and public education.
     


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for February 2016

    April 20, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for February 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 70,251,961 barrels of crude oil and 580,784,700 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, February 2015, was: 65,568,162 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 83,398,237 barrels; and 563,837,998 Mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 672,049,511 Mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.023 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary February 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,422,481 barrels daily, compared to the 2,341,720 barrels daily average of February 2015.

    Texas preliminary February 2016 total gas production averaged 20,027,059 Mcf a day, compared to the 20,137,071 Mcf daily average of February 2015.

    Texas production in February 2016 came from 184,117 oil wells and 89,379 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  FEBRUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    DEWITT

    5,372,636

        2.

    KARNES

    5,321,466

        3.

    LA SALLE

    4,249,574

        4.

    MIDLAND

    3,505,419

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,175,087

        6.

    UPTON

    3,033,827

        7.

    REEVES

    2,841,166

        8.

    ANDREWS

    2,807,241

        9.

    GONZALES

    2,723,208

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    2,301,957


    TABLE 2 – FEBRUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    53,952,227

        2.

    TARRANT

    41,880,837

        3.

    PANOLA

    25,794,153

        4.

    DEWITT

    22,961,257

        5.

    DIMMIT

    20,902,041

        6.

    JOHNSON

    19,184,213

        7.

    WISE

    17,878,070

        8.

    KARNES

    17,409,521

        9.

    LA SALLE

    16,979,631

      10.

    DENTON

    16,047,542


    TABLE 3 – FEBRUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,768,383

        2.

    WEBB

    1,271,871

        3.

    KARNES

    990,193

        4.

    DEWITT

    876,275

        5.

    CULBERSON

    737,675

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    453,112

        7.

    REEVES

    349,528

        8.

    LA SALLE

    324,026

        9.

    WHEELER

    227,680

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    222,294

     

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ April 12 Conference

    April 15, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $294,882 in fines involving 191 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $34,642 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $260,250 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Chairman David Porter Speaks to Texas and Mexico Leaders at 2nd Mexico Gas Summit - Emphasizes Competition, Cooperation and Collaboration

    April 14, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO –Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today said Mexico’s success in developing its energy resources will rely largely on its regulation. Porter spoke on a panel at the 2nd Mexico Gas Summit where the discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities for the shale gas industry in Texas and Mexico now that Mexico has opened its oil and gas sector to private investment. 

    “As Mexico moves forward with shale development, a consistent, competitive regulatory environment will be critical for maximizing its hydrocarbon potential, and there’s a lot of potential,” Porter said. “This is an incredibly exciting time for energy production, and once prices stabilize, Mexico will have an excellent opportunity to capitalize on its natural resources.” 

    Porter emphasized the importance of collaboration, and said Texas is happy to serve as resource as Mexico expands its energy industry and infrastructure. 

    “I’ve traveled to Mexico several times over the past couple of years to meet with energy and business officials because - having been through extensive shale development and management – Texas has gained some valuable insight over the past decade,” Porter said. “Cooperation will enhance the economic, geopolitical and environmental benefits for both of our countries.” 

    Panelists answered questions about near term potential for shale exploration in the Burgos Basin, infrastructure gaps to facilitate exploration and production in Mexico, and security and other operational concerns Mexico faces. Additional panelists included Bob Watson, CEO of Abraxas Petroleum; Glenn Hart, CEO of Laredo Energy; and Carlos Garcia, International Business Development Manager for Lewis Energy.
     


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership

  • Railroad Commissioners Recognize Agency’s 125th Birthday

    Texas’ Oldest Regulatory Agency has Long, Proud Tradition of Protecting Public Safety & Environment
    April 12, 2016

    AUSTIN – At their regularly scheduled conference today, all three Railroad Commissioners recognized the Railroad Commission of Texas’ 125th birthday, and its long, proud tradition of protecting public safety and natural resources. The Commissioners also thanked former Railroad Commissioners in attendance for their public service. 

    The Railroad Commission—Texas’ oldest regulatory state agency— was established April 3, 1891 by the Legislature, giving the Commission jurisdiction over rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. Since then, it has been given responsibility for overseeing numerous industries and currently has primary oversight and enforcement over the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry and intrastate pipeline safety. The Commission also regulates alternative fuels’ safety, natural gas utilities and surface mining. The agency’s jurisdiction over rail safety was transferred by the Legislature to the Texas Department of Transportation in 2005. 

    Chairman David Porter said, “The Railroad Commission has shaped Texas’ energy industry, and our energy industry has changed the world. Delegates from countries across the globe have traveled here to see how the Commission manages to successfully protect our citizens and natural resources without slowing down the most important industry to our economy. While the rules and regulations we have in place at the Commission have guided our success, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work and dedication of our staff.” 

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Railroad Commission, we look back on more than a century of balanced, consistent, yet innovative, pro-growth policies that have kept Texans and our resources safe and our state’s historic oil and gas industry, a pillar of the Texas economy, thriving. Today, we could not be more proud of the Commission’s position as a global leader in energy regulation, standing as a testament to the fact that environmental safety and energy development can coexist for the betterment of all Texans.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “The Railroad Commission of Texas has succeeded in its mission to protect the public and our natural resources over the course of its 125-year history for one reason: its dedicated and hard-working staff. Without the knowledgeable staff, many of whom have served the agency for over 30 years, the commission would not have been able to provide the technical expertise and high degree of customer service this agency provides to the people of Texas.  I’m honored to serve with the dedicated employees of the commission and look forward to continually improving the job we do for Texans and the energy industry as a whole.”  

    Former Railroad Commissioners attending today’s conference were: Elizabeth Coleman; Victor G. Carrillo; Buddy Garcia; Clark Jobe; Carole Keeton; Dr. Charles Matthews; Mary Scott Nabers; Barry Smitherman; and Michael Williams.

    Current and former Railroad Commissioners at today's Railroad Commission of Texas 125th birthday celebration.
    Current and former Railroad Commissioners at today's
    Railroad Commission of Texas 125th birthday celebration.

     

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for March 2016

    April 08, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 511 original drilling permits in March 2016 compared to 923 in March 2015. The March total included 407 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, five to re-enter plugged well bores and 99 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued March 2016 included 129 oil, 30 gas, 312 oil or gas, 30 injection and 10 other permits.

    In March 2016, Commission staff processed 947 oil, 194 gas, 33 injection and eight other completions compared to 1,547 oil, 305 gas, 109 injection and nine other completions in March 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 3,452 down from 5,946 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of April 8 was 197, representing about 44 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – MARCH 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    44

    126

    41

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    59

    190

    13

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    18

    25

    38

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    19

    9

    5

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    4

    3

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    14

    23

    16

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    18

    13

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    57

    63

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    192

    401

    27

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    46

    33

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    33

    47

    22

    (10) PANHANDLE

    6

    13

    26

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commission Announces Permitting Requirements for Recycling Treated Domestic Wastewater & Mobile Drinking Wastewater Treatment System Wastewater at Oil & Gas Drill Sites

    April 05, 2016

    AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission announces permitting requirements for on-site recycling of treated domestic wastewater and treated wastewater from mobile drinking water systems. This process will help ensure recycled water is properly treated for specific permitted uses. 

    The Railroad Commission will use the minor permit process under the Commission’s Statewide Rule 8 (Water Protection) to consider applications for permits authorizing operators to beneficially recycle treated domestic wastewater and waste streams from mobile drinking water systems at drill sites. 

    A Commission minor permit will be required for surface application, such as dust suppression for drill pads or roads and for controlled (non-atomized) irrigation, for treated fluids. A Commission minor permit will also be required for downhole uses of treated domestic wastewater. 

    No Commission permit is required if wastewater from a mobile drinking water treatment system is used downhole as make-up water for drilling fluid after surface casing for a well has been set through the base of usable quality water. Also, no Commission permit is required for recycling mobile drinking wastewater for use as make-up water for cement and for make-up water for hydraulic fracturing fluid. 

    The Railroad Commission has jurisdiction over the on-site treatment and management of domestic wastewater generated at oil and gas drill sites. The RRC also has jurisdiction over waste streams generated from mobile drinking water treatment systems located at and resulting from use exclusively at drill sites. 

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has jurisdiction over the treatment of water that will be used for drinking water, other potable uses, and potable delivery. TCEQ also has jurisdiction over mobile potable water treatment units operated at drill sites, such as mobile drinking water treatment systems and over the transportation of domestic waste and wastewater. Solids accumulated during the treatment of domestic sewage at a drill site must be removed to an authorized disposal facility by a TCEQ-registered sludge transporter before a sewage treatment system is relocated. 

    In no case may waste streams be discharged or allowed to enter any watercourses or drainage ways, including drainage ditches, dry creek beds, flowing creeks, rivers or any other surface water. 

     

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ March 29 Conference

    April 02, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $298,263 in fines involving 218 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $30,463 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $267,800 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

     In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

March

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for January 2016

    March 29, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for January 2016 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 76,063,179 barrels of crude oil and 612,602,068 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.  Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, January 2015, was: 68,949,268 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 88,816,120 barrels; and 607,631,634 Mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 733,123,911 Mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.014 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas.  Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary January 2016 crude oil production averaged 2,453,651 barrels daily, compared to the 2,224,170 barrels daily average of January 2015.

    Texas preliminary January 2016 total gas production averaged 19,761,357 Mcf a day, compared to the 19,601,020 Mcf daily average of January 2015.

    Texas production in January 2016 came from 182,212 oil wells and 89,559 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.


    TABLE 1
      JANUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN OIL CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    6,268,292

        2.

    LA SALLE

    4,692,548

        3.

    MIDLAND

    4,302,305

        4.

    DEWITT

    4,006,611

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,300,722

        6.

    UPTON

    3,240,671

        7.

    GONZALES

    3,128,463

        8.

    MCMULLEN

    3,088,081

        9.

    REEVES

    2,950,553

      10.

    ANDREWS

    2,930,913


    TABLE 2 – JANUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    58,883,030

        2.

    TARRANT

    44,559,867

        3.

    PANOLA

    26,574,219

        4.

    DIMMIT

    23,006,630

        5.

    JOHNSON

    20,546,741

        6.

    WISE

    18,806,159

        7.

    DEWITT

    18,304,013

        8.

    DENTON

    17,140,250

        9.

    KARNES

    16,890,901

      10.

    LA SALLE

    14,528,837


    TABLE 3 – JANUARY 2016 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    1,977,483

        2.

    WEBB

    1,427,916

        3.

    KARNES

    928,481

        4.

    DEWITT

    922,295

        5.

    CULBERSON

    729,815

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    503,221

        7.

    REEVES

    452,483

        8.

    WHEELER

    275,086

        9.

    LA SALLE

    228,701

      10.

    LOVING

    215,169

  • Taking the Long View of the Texas Energy Industry

    by Commissioner Christi Craddick
    March 21, 2016

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick’s editorial on the long term outlook of crude oil exports and its impact on the Texas energy industry published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram Saturday.

    “It has been 40 years since Texas crude could be sold around the world,” Craddick said. “Texas is now poised to lead the U.S. back into the global marketplace where our producers can compete with anyone, anywhere. The groundwork has been laid and Texas producers are ready for the competition and unleashing of true U.S. shale potential. In 40 years, historians will look back upon the decision to lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports as a victory for free markets and a long overdue economic shot in the arm for Texas and our nation.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Chairman David Porter Addresses Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Lease and Title Analysts

    Applauds Texas Oil & Gas Industry for Resilience during National Slowdown
    March 15, 2016

    FORT WORTH – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today commended the Texas oil and gas industry for maintaining strong production levels even as oil and gas activity slows nationwide. Porter made his comments at the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Lease and Title Analysts (DFW-ALTA) luncheon. 

    “In 2014, we saw historic amounts of oil and gas production, and we’ve sustained these record levels during 2015,” Porter said. “Because of Texas producers’ innovation and efficiency, our state’s energy industry still employs tens of thousands of people in virtually every corner of the state, providing jobs and income to countless families.” 

    Porter – who leads the state’s energy regulatory agency – attributes much of Texas’ success to its world-renowned regulatory environment, comparing it to other states with excessive, burdensome regulations for the oil and gas industry. 

    “We rely on stable, free-market policies in Texas that encourage innovation and competition, and prevent over regulation from hindering job creation and economic growth, as we’ve unfortunately seen in other states, like New York and California,” Porter said. “The Railroad Commission has safely and efficiently regulated Texas’s oil and gas industry for almost a hundred years protecting public safety and the environment. As a result, our state’s economy has flourished, even during times of national economic hardship.” 
     


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ March 8 Conference

    March 11, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $259,473 in fines involving 172 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    No Master Default Orders were on the March 8 conference agenda. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $64,723 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $194,750 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for February 2016

    March 08, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 573 original drilling permits in February 2016 compared to 924 in February 2015. The February total included 455 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 19 to re-enter plugged well bores and 99 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued February 2016 included 159 oil, 28 gas, 352 oil or gas, 26 injection, five service and three other permits.

    In February 2016, Commission staff processed 822 oil, 186 gas, 57 injection and one other completions compared to 1,521 oil, 210 gas, 245 injection and three other completions in February 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 2,270 down from 3,979 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of March 4 was 227, representing about 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – FEBRUARY 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    64

    118

    37

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    80

    132

    21

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    24

    42

    25

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    7

    1

    14

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    2

    6

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    19

    14

    13

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    26

    22

    5

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    58

    28

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    215

    336

    29

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    41

    50

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    25

    71

    24

    (10) PANHANDLE

    12

    2

    18

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • Railroad Commissioners Testify Today Before the Texas House Energy Committee

    March 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – All three Railroad Commissioners today provided invited testimony before the Texas House Energy Resources Committee. The Commissioners updated committee members on the agency’s activities. The Railroad Commission of Texas has primary regulatory oversight over the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry, intrastate pipeline safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and alternative fuels safety.

    Chairman David Porter said, “While we remain firmly committed to protecting the people of Texas and our natural resources, I am deeply concerned current price and activity levels in the energy industry could hurt the long-term sustainability of the Commission under our current funding structure. We must have a serious conversation with the Legislature about how the Railroad Commission is going to be funded moving forward if we’re going to continue to have the financial resources we need to do our job here in Texas and not let the federal government takeover by default.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “Over the last few dynamic years for Texas energy production, we have adjusted our processes to stay ahead of our state’s fast-paced energy industry. The Commission continues to function under the mission of providing thorough, business-minded regulation and real-time response to issues surrounding public safety and the protection of our natural resources, and we become more efficient in this effort every day.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “I’m excited to continue working with the Legislature to ensure the Railroad Commission is doing the best job possible for the people of Texas.  Our agency is committed to giving Texans confidence in the way our natural resources are produced.  I know that the Legislature shares our commitment to protecting the environment and public while responsibly producing our natural resources, and that we will move forward together to ensure the Railroad Commission remains a high- caliber and high-performing state agency.” 

    The Commissioners’ archived testimony can be viewed here.

  • Craddick: Texas Is the Bellwether of U.S. Energy Investment through the Downturn

    March 04, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today reflected on the opportunities ahead as Texas invests in future energy development during her keynote remarks at the University of Houston Law Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Spring Lecture Series.

    “Through the downturn, Texas and our oil and gas industry stands to gain a great deal in investments such as a strong regulatory structure, infrastructure and work force that will benefit our state and keep us first in national energy production for the long haul,” Craddick said. “Now is the time for the Commission to focus on fine-tuning our rules for optimal business growth while also continuing our agency’s primary mission of protecting public safety and natural resources. This is also a good time for industry to develop its infrastructure and support education efforts for technically skilled laborers. Texas has led the nation in energy production since the beginning of oil and gas development in this nation, and we are continuing to make progress even today.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

February

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for December 2015

    February 29, 2016

    AUSTIN – Production for December 2015 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 74,575,286 barrels of crude oil and 625,413,983 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.  Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, December 2014, was: 71,074,245 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 91,295,801 barrels; and 627,692,206 Mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 756,753,620 Mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.009 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary December 2015 crude oil production averaged 2,405,654 barrels daily, compared to the 2,292,718 barrels daily average of December 2014.

    Texas preliminary December 2015 total gas production averaged 20,174,645 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) a day, compared to the 20,248,136 Mcf daily average of December 2014.

    Texas production in December 2015 came from 184,829 oil wells and 90,182 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

     
    TABLE 1  DECEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN OIL CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    6,320,109

        2.

    LA SALLE

    4,689,981

        3.

    DEWITT

    4,131,601

        4.

    MIDLAND

    3,600,881

        5.

    MARTIN

    3,423,559

        6.

    UPTON

    3,206,524

        7.

    ANDREWS

    3,050,175

        8.

    GONZALES

    3,039,620

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,778,013

      10.

    REEVES

    2,554,952


    TABLE 2 – DECEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    56,682,839

        2.

    TARRANT

    48,940,909

        3.

    PANOLA

    27,042,590

        4.

    DIMMIT

    23,348,223

        5.

    JOHNSON

    20,759,972

        6.

    DEWITT

    19,884,623

        7.

    WISE

    19,536,004

        8.

    KARNES

    19,487,833

        9.

    LA SALLE

    18,530,052

      10.

    DENTON

    17,441,199


    TABLE 3 – DECEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    2,109,085

        2.

    WEBB

    1,347,213

        3.

    KARNES

    1,102,613

        4.

    DEWITT

    1,075,656

        5.

    CULBERSON

    672,207

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    546,084

        7.

    LA SALLE

    369,578

        8.

    REEVES

    345,470

        9.

    WHEELER

    269,361

      10.

    MCMULLEN

    214,564

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Feb. 23 Conference

    February 26, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $319,350 in fines involving 234 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    No Master Default Orders were on the Feb. 23 conference agenda. 

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $36,750 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $282,600 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Commissioner Craddick Highlights Oil and Gas Work Force’s Long-Term Importance to Texas Energy Development

    February 17, 2016

    DALLAS – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to the Dallas Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) today at their February meeting about the state of Texas’ oil and gas industry and what the industry’s work force may expect throughout the next year.

    “One of the industry’s greatest challenges is access to a technical work force,” Craddick said. “Texas has consistently ranked high in providing an expert work force across a broad spectrum of industries, particularly in energy development. You are one of the greatest reasons why businesses often choose Texas for their operations over other states. And, it is critical to our state’s continued success that we focus on consistent work force development.”

    SPE was officially founded in 1957 as an arm of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME), and became a separately incorporated organization in 1985. SPE is the largest individual member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry.

    “While it is not easy to see the jobs lost today, we must remember the long history of this great industry in our state and look confidently toward the future,” Craddick said. “Texas oil and gas production has sustained generations upon generations of workers, and I encourage you to carry on this industry’s rich history.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Reminds Operators to Reduce Light Near McDonald Observatory

    February 17, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas today issued a Notice to Operators to remind oil and gas operators of the need to minimize lighting impacts from oil and gas activities in the vicinity of the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.

    The Notice follows collaboration between Commission staff, representatives of the McDonald Observatory, and the oil and gas industry related to lighting practices at oil and gas production sites. The growth of oil and gas drilling and production in the Permian Basin has generated light reflecting off the sky raising concerns by the McDonald Observatory about nighttime light pollution.  

    Industry operators active in the seven county region have worked with the McDonald Observatory to adopt new lighting practices to help prevent ambient lighting from interfering with the highly sensitive and important scientific study conducted at the McDonald Observatory. By issuing the Notice to Operators the Railroad Commission is highlighting the importance of mitigating excessive light while improving visibility at the work site.

    The Notice advises operators to be aware of applicable outdoor lighting requirements and refers them to helpful resources. Lighting solutions can be simple and cost effective, resulting in better visibility for the McDonald Observatory and at oil and gas production locations. The Notice to Operators on minimizing lighting impacts from oil and gas activities can be viewed HERE.

  • Commissioner Sitton Delivers Morning Keynote Address at Australian American Chamber of Commerce Energy and Tech Conference

    February 16, 2016

    HOUSTON – Commissioner Ryan Sitton today delivered the morning keynote address at the Australian American Chamber of Commerce Energy and Technology Conference. The conference has become renowned as the leading United States forum linking American and Australian energy executives and technical experts. The event was held at the Westin Houston.

    “Texas energy production is paving the way across the globe for enhanced and innovative ways to responsibly produce energy,” Commissioner Sitton told the gathering. “Shared technology and collaborative energy strategies with our allies in the world will enhance access to affordable and reliable energy and I’m excited Texas has such a strong relationship with Australia,” concluded Sitton.

    Sitton speaking to audience


    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.

  • Commissioner Craddick Points to Strong Long-Term Outlook for Texas Energy

    February 10, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today pointed to the positive impact Texas and U.S. oil producers will see as open crude oil markets increase demand for lighter, sweeter U.S. shale oil in keynote remarks at the North American Prospect Expo’s (NAPE) Global Business Conference in Houston.

    “The opening of the markets for U.S. oil producers will translate into enduring success for the overall industry and subsequently Texans as a whole,” Craddick said. “When you apply sensible regulations, encourage investment, open new markets for products and stimulate competition, economies grow. In this case, it’s our long-standing oil economy. And with our state’s plentiful resources, the industry’s technology and innovation, and the Commission’s strength in regulation, the sky is the limit.”

    NAPE was founded by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) in 1993 and joins with partners, The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and The American Association of Exploration Geologists (AAPG), to bring together oil and gas industry professionals for idea-sharing and business development.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Statement from Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter on Supreme Court’s decision to delay enforcement of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

    February 10, 2016

    AUSTIN – The following statement can be attributed to Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter: 

    “The Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily halt Obama’s Clean Power Plan is encouraging for Texas, and for the other 26 states that adamantly oppose this radical climate change policy. Our states’ coalition makes an indisputable case; these expensive measures to cut carbon emissions and reduce coal use will strain our grid, and Americans will pay the consequences with obscenely high electric bills. The president is disregarding the Constitutional limits of his office and public opinion to promote his own liberal agenda that combats fossil fuels and favors unreliable alternative energy sources. I hope the Court continues to realize that this tyrannical intrusion into the free market is costly, illogical and uncalled for.” 



    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

  • Commissioner Craddick Reinforces Oil Industry’s Future at Midland YPE

    February 09, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick continues to emphasize the importance of next generation innovators and entrepreneurs for the Texas oil and gas industry. Speaking to the Midland Chapter of Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) last night at the Midland Petroleum Club, Craddick told the group they will be key in launching the industry’s next big growth cycle in Texas. The Permian Basin-based group represents technically skilled young professionals working to develop and advance the industry’s workforce.

    “For those of you who are worried about the industry today, I want to emphasize Texas oil and gas is a resilient industry, and Texas is a resilient state,” Craddick said. “The recent shale revolution in Texas was the result of incredible innovation and perseverance from the industry itself. And, you too will contribute greatly to the next chapter in our storied history of energy production through new ideas, new technologies and old fashioned hard work that will move the industry and our state forward.

    “We have seen ebbs and flows in energy production over the last couple decades, but Texas remains an oil and gas state with more than 100 years of experience,” Craddick said. “The industry supports more than one third of our state’s overall economy and is, without any doubt, here to stay. You are in the right place to learn from those who are the very best at enduring through the industry’s cycles, many of whom are still producing energy successfully in the Permian Basin today.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Craddick: Energy Production Will Sustain in Heart of Texas’ Oil Basin

    February 08, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to the Midland Chamber of Commerce’s board today about the current state of Texas energy, highlighting encouraging oil industry activity in the Permian Basin early this year.

    “There are a few key reasons why companies from across the world choose to produce energy in Texas, particularly here in the Permian Basin,” Craddick said. “Prime conditions - an ample supply of oil, a skilled workforce, vast infrastructure, cutting edge technology and innovation, and sensible government - have allowed producers to cut back overhead costs and sustain in times of low oil prices. Frankly, these factors have allowed companies to better weather the downturn.”

    Craddick said that the Permian Basin is still responsible for record oil production at 1.35 million barrels of oil per day even though the total number of active drilling rigs in the region is down.  

    “Even as foreign oil producing nations continue their economic assault on the U.S. energy industry, Texas and its associated energy companies are better positioned to compete because of higher efficiencies, advanced technologies and lower production costs. And when demand for oil rises again, as it is certain to, Texas will be well-positioned and ready to respond. Until then, production in the Permian Basin will carry on.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for January 2016

    February 08, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 510 original drilling permits in January 2016 compared to 1,102 in January 2015. The January total included 425 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, five to re-enter plugged well bores and 80 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued January 2016 included 141 oil, 41 gas, 282 oil or gas, 35 injection, two service and nine other permits.

    In January 2016, Commission staff processed 951 oil, 197 gas, 52 injection and four other completions compared to 1,450 oil, 344 gas, 198 injection and five other completions in January 2015. Total well completions for 2016 year to date are 1,204 down from 1,997 recorded during the same period in 2015.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of February 5 was 262, representing about 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.


    TABLE 1
     – JANUARY 2016 TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    84

    171

    55

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    48

    147

    17

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    21

    14

    12

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    9

    7

    4

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    4

    0

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    22

    2

    10

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    18

    26

    2

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    44

    77

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    166

    338

    20

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    45

    27

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    35

    121

    26

    (10) PANHANDLE

    14

    21

    50

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Feb. 3 Conference

    February 05, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $567,834 in fines involving 233 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Operators were assessed $175,276 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $132,058 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $260,500 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Railroad Commissioner Craddick, Former Railroad Commissioner Smitherman Team Up for UT Energy Law Class

    February 03, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick joined former Commissioner and University of Texas School of Law adjunct professor, Barry Smitherman, for a guest-lecture on Texas energy regulation last night. The semester-long class focuses on the law, regulations and public policy that are the foundation for the successful development, extraction, and harnessing of Texas' energy related natural resources.

    “As a former UT graduate now overseeing the state’s top energy agency, I know firsthand how invaluable it is to students to have a practical understanding of energy development and the Commission’s regulatory structure,” Craddick said. “I am honored to serve as a resource for students looking to build their future in the energy industry. It is truly the most rewarding part of my job.”

    “The dedication and work of my former colleague, Barry Smitherman in providing college students with a real-world, in-depth understanding of Texas’ energy industry is a noble effort and critical to the continued development of the industry’s future workforce,” Craddick said. “Barry’s tireless work educating the next generation of attorneys and energy industry professionals is just as important as his time serving Texas as Railroad Commissioner, and I am proud to assist him in this effort.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

January

  • Railroad Commissioner Craddick Discusses Texas Shale Success with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy

    January 28, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick met with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) today as part of the Mexican delegation’s official mission to learn about the Texas view on shale industry best practices and regulations. Representatives from the country’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Ministry of Finance (SHCP), and a new agency charged with industrial and environmental safety for hydrocarbons, (ASEA), joined the discussion to better understand legal and technical factors and the overall regulatory structure necessary for shale development. 

    “Mexico’s success relies on their ability to cultivate a strong regulatory structure, and the Railroad Commission is a ready source of expertise,” Craddick said. “Mexico not only shares a cultural past and a strong trading relationship with Texas, the country also has access to many of the same geological formations that have driven the resurgence of our own energy industry. We have been a resource for Mexico since their energy reform process began, and as Mexico initiates shale exploration and production, we welcome greater cross-border cooperation, collaboration and regional success.” 

    Mexico’s energy agencies are currently defining contractual terms for an upcoming auction of contracts to the private sector for the development of its shale resources. The sale is expected to include Mexico’s unconventional assets in the Burgos Basin, located just south of the Texas-Mexico border. As Mexico develops its shale resources, SENER is reviewing key factors that have contributed to the regulatory success of the Texas shale industry.

    Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick meets with energy officials from Mexico.
    Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick meets with energy officials from Mexico.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for November 2015

    January 21, 2016

    AUSTIN –– Production for November 2015 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 70,969,209 barrels of crude oil and 596,523,139 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells. These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.  Production reported to the Commission for the same time period last year, November 2014, was: 67,660,682 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 86,464,573 barrels; and 600,389,620 Mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 719,146,191 Mcf.

    The Commission reports that in the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 1.007 billion barrels of crude oil and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the Commission is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the Commission.

    Texas preliminary November 2015 crude oil production averaged 2,365,640 barrels daily, compared to the 2,255,356 barrels daily average of November 2014.

    Texas preliminary November 2015 total gas production averaged 19,884,105 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) a day, compared to the 20,012,987 Mcf daily average of November 2014.

    Texas production in November 2015 came from 183,882 oil wells and 90,345 gas wells.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, visit the RRC’s Oil & Gas Production web page.

    TABLE 1  NOVEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN OIL CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

        1.

    KARNES

    6,052,467

        2.

    LA SALLE

    4,517,919

        3.

    MIDLAND

    3,586,823

        4.

    DEWITT

    3,522,371

        5.

    UPTON

    3,251,364

        6.

    MARTIN

    3,035,032

        7.

    ANDREWS

    2,858,650

        8.

    GONZALES

    2,773,677

        9.

    MCMULLEN

    2,730,844

      10.

    REEVES

    2,725,942


    TABLE 2 – NOVEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

        1.

    WEBB

    54,004,171

        2.

    TARRANT

    45,271,558

        3.

    PANOLA

    25,299,748

        4.

    DIMMIT

    22,670,948

        5.

    JOHNSON

    20,605,565

        6.

    KARNES

    19,282,063

        7.

    WISE

    18,620,327

        8.

    DEWITT

    17,755,896

        9.

    DENTON

    16,885,104

      10.

    LA SALLE

    13,537,906


    TABLE 3 – NOVEMBER 2015 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

        1.

    DIMMIT

    2,075,906

        2.

    WEBB

    1,312,117

        3.

    KARNES

    1,133,619

        4.

    DEWITT

    1,045,196

        5.

    CULBERSON

    654,830

        6.

    LIVE OAK

    543,083

        7.

    REEVES

    353,963

        8.

    LA SALLE

    263,223

        9.

    WHEELER

    220,397

      10.

    LOVING

    192,005

  • RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Jan. 12 Conference

    January 15, 2016

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $394,129 in fines involving 175 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference earlier this week. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. 

    Two operators were assessed $78,275 in two oil & gas protested dockets that went to hearing. The final orders can be found here and here. 

    Operators were assessed $74,548 after failing to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Details on these Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $38,806 for oil and gas and LP-Gas rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $202,500 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Details on all these Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC website here.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders. 

  • Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for December 2015

    January 11, 2016

    AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 727 original drilling permits in December 2015 compared to 1,506 in December 2014. The December total included 622 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, twelve to re-enter plugged well bores and 93 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued December 2015 included 159 oil, 42 gas, 440 oil or gas, 54 injection, two service and 30 other permits.

    In December 2015, Commission staff processed 788 oil, 151 gas, 53 injection and one other completions compared to 1,559 oil, 353 gas, 45 injection and two other completions in December 2014. Total well completions for 2015 are 19,503; down from 29,554 recorded in 2014.

    According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of January 8 was 308, representing about 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

    For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s monthly drilling completion summaries web page.

    TABLE 1 – DECEMBER TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES

    OIL COMPLETIONS

    GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    87

    183

    30

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    109

    99

    13

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    26

    42

    7

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    12

    6

    24

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    10

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    18

    5

    8

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    30

    18

    3

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    52

    69

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    275

    256

    14

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    45

    34

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    49

    47

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    14

    26

    46

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas here.

     

  • Chairman Porter Visits Rio Grande Valley to Discuss Border, Energy Infrastructure Security

    Chairman Meets with U.S. Border Patrol and Texas Homeland Security Officials
    January 06, 2016

    EDINBURG – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today visited the Rio Grande Valley to discuss border and energy infrastructure security concerns with representatives from the chief state and federal agencies responsible for protecting Texas from criminal and terrorist threats. 

    “We know that nefarious groups and individuals engaging in illegal and dangerous activities use Texas’ border with Mexico as a gateway into the United States, and that some of these entities intend to harm Texans and Americans. I want to make certain we are doing everything we can at the Commission to help law enforcement protect our people and our critical energy infrastructure,” Chairman Porter said. “With the unprecedented growth of oil and gas production in South Texas over the past several years, and in light of the tragic terrorist attacks we’ve recently seen worldwide, it is especially important that we build relationships and work together to protect our state and nation from any potential threats to public safety and prevent any disruption of energy production, which is the backbone of our economy.” 

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr. said “Border security is a team sport, and that team is comprised of federal, state and local agencies as well as the areas we all serve. Our partnerships with these agencies will ensure that our priority is to keep our communities safe and secure.” 

    Chairman Porter has repeatedly urged the federal government to strengthen its commitment to protect energy infrastructure in Texas, which produces nearly 40 percent of crude oil and 30 percent of natural gas in the United States. He first raised border security concerns to the federal government in 2014 and subsequently visited several south Texas oil and gas facilities to examine the vulnerability of the state’s critical energy infrastructure. 

    As a result of his visit, Porter worked in 2015 to enhance safety measures for Commission employees near the border by ensuring that staff and inspectors who want to carry firearms for self-protection on duty have the opportunity to obtain their concealed handgun license in a timely manner; requiring inspectors in areas of concern to use the “buddy system” to ensure they are not alone in potentially dangerous areas; and purchasing cell phone boosters for inspector vehicles in remote areas of South Texas that are close to the border and have limited access to mobile communications. 


    Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.





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