Railroad Commissioner Porter Visits Commission’s Kilgore Office; Unveils Building’s New Sign
KILGORE - Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter met today with Kilgore employees of the Railroad Commission’s district office and unveiled the office’s new sign for the Railroad Commission of Texas Bill Murray State Office Building.
“I am delighted to be in Kilgore, the heart of the East Texas Oil Field, and I appreciate the rich history and economic contributions of this special Field,” said Commissioner Porter. “The district office employs 37 professionals. They serve as the eyes and ears of our regulatory efforts; they ensure public safety and environmental protection; and they inspect the 6,690 oil, gas, and disposal wells currently operating in this Field.”
The East Texas Oil Field has produced more oil than any other field in the contiguous United States since its discovery in 1930. More than 30,340 wells have been drilled in this field, yielding more than 5.3 billion barrels of oil. This year so far, the Railroad Commission has issued 20 drilling permits for the East Texas Oil Field, double the amount issued last year.
“The independent operators led the early development of the Field and have continued to invest their capital and hard work into the Field,” said Commissioner Porter. “I am honored to recognize their contributions to local governments and the State. They have provided more than 9,800 oil and gas jobs in Gregg, Rusk, Smith, and Upshur counties; contributed more than $151 million in property taxes as of Aug. 31 of this year; and sent $60 million dollars in severance taxes to the State during fiscal year 2011. Since being elected Railroad Commissioner, I have valued the East Texas independent operators’ knowledge and input and look forward to meeting with many of them later today.”
Barry Smitherman is a fourth generation Texan appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Railroad Commission of Texas on July 8, 2011. Before serving at the Railroad Commission, Smitherman served on the Public Utility Commission for seven years, four of those as Chairman. In addition, he is a past ex-officio board member of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). He currently serves on the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) and is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory panel on Federal Environmental Regulation and is a member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC) Board of Directors, and the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment (ERE).