AUSTIN – Today, Commissioner Christi Craddick highlighted progress made by the Texas oil and gas industry in water conservation, aided by the Railroad Commission’s recycling measures enacted one year ago to date.
“With this rule, Texas was the first state in the nation to adopt comprehensive regulation of recycling fluids in oil and gas production,” Craddick said. “Industry advancements in recycling in the past year have proven this rule amendment to be a key piece in efforts toward water conservation in oil and gas production. We are excited that industry has used this groundbreaking rule amendment as an opportunity to accelerate the deployment of water recycling technologies in Texas ahead of other states.”
Major amendments adopted to the Commission’s water recycling rules were put in place to further enhance conservation, reuse and recycling of water by oil and gas operators, while continuing to ensure that Texas’ natural resources are protected. These changes included eliminating the need for a Commission recycling permit if operators are recycling fluid on their own leases or transferring their fluids to another operator’s lease for recycling.
Craddick said, “Texas’ technically driven oil and gas industry aided by the Railroad Commission’s globally recognized model regulatory framework has created an ideal atmosphere for energy production. This atmosphere has allowed innovation in water conservation to thrive and helps maintain Texas’ position as the nation’s largest energy producer.
“Our state is fortunate, indeed, to have a vast wealth of natural resources in the form of water, and in the mineral riches that are found in our oil and gas fields. We have proven that we can enjoy the benefits of both,” Craddick said.
Comments from industry on the one-year anniversary of the Commission’s rule amendments follow:
“With the April 15 rule amendments, the RRC took a giant step forward in promoting the recycling and reuse of frac flowback and produced water within the oilfield.” – Billy Roberts, Omni Water Solutions
“Our recycling system, GreenWave, is helping our Permian Basin clients work toward performing 100 percent recycling of their hydraulic fracturing operations with recycled produced and flowback water, which previously went to disposal… I am also very proud to be a part of this success. It was for these types of activities that I chose to become an environmental engineer.” – Mitch Brandon, CETCO Energy Services
“Making an adequate rate of return on wells drilled in shale plays requires a constant focus on reducing costs… The money saved by reducing cost of obtaining water and then disposing of flowback water is significant.” – Bill Mintz, Apache Corporation
“Speaking as both the Chief Operating Officer of Fountain Quail Water Management and also the Chairman of the Texas Water Recycling Association, I can honestly tell you that I believe that Texas now has the best oilfield water recycling rules in the nation. The rules are fair, common sense, and protect the environment while simultaneously removing roadblocks that have historically hindered the widespread acceptance of water recycling in the industry… The Texas Water Recycling Association has already spoken to states such as New Mexico and Oklahoma that want to learn about the new Texas rules.” – Brent Halldorson, Fountain Quail Water Management
Commissioner Craddick in May will host an event in Austin in which industry representatives will be invited to give a brief presentation summarizing their recycling and water conservation efforts in the field. At that event, stakeholders will discuss future water recycling efforts and thoughts on how to best move toward greater industry water conservation. Details of the event are currently being finalized.
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.