RRC Holiday Closure

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, the Railroad Commission of Texas will be closed on Monday, May 29. The agency will reopen for business on Tuesday, May 30.

Useful Links for Waste Minimization Assistance and Information



The Railroad Commission of Texas’ Oil and Gas Division’s Waste Minimization Program offers free E&P waste minimization information and tools including the Waste Minimization in the Oil Field manual, the Annotated Bibliography of Waste Minimization Technology, and links to other web sites for additional waste minimization assistance.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission) provides information useful for finding companies who recycle many waste common to E&P activities. Recycle Texas Online at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/recycle provides a list of recycling companies. Renew at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assistance/P2Recycle/renew/renew.html is a waste exchange program. The TCEQ Pollution Prevention program page at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2 provides other useful information (e.g., solvent substitution).

TCEQ also provides a link to http://www.earth911.org/. Earth911 allows you to select a city and state to obtain listings for companies who recycle various materials, such as used oil and filters, antifreeze, batteries, and scrap metal.


The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (NMOCD) offers "Pollution Prevention Best Management Practices" (two volumes) and a "Pocket Guide". Look under the "Publications" selection on the NMOCD home page. Volume 1 addresses the pollution prevention systems approach, pollution prevention opportunities (i.e., waste minimization, and tools for developing an effective pollution prevention plan). Volume 2 provides non-process specific information for wastes generated by various oil field operations, waste treatment and disposal, and end-of-pipe recycling opportunities. "Pollution Prevention Best Management Practices" includes some regulatory summaries specific to New Mexico; however, the publication is a good tool for oil and gas operators in any state. Also available is a "Pocket Guide" which provides waste minimization suggestions for most E&P wastes.


The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) booklet "Oilfield Pollution Prevention," provides oil and gas waste minimization tips (but not available on the web site). Also, the OCC has published "Pollution Prevention at Exploration and Production Sites for Erosion and Pollution Control." This booklet (updated in 2002) discusses construction methods for roads and pads, which control sedimentation from stormwater runoff and is available at http://www.occweb.com/og/E-940.pdf. Call Pollution Abatement Underground Injection Control, at (405) 522-2763.

International Organizations


The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (formerly the E&P Forum), based in London, offers numerous publications related to waste management, EH&S planning, EMS, and emissions reduction (e.g., flaring). Most publications can be downloaded for free in PDF.


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a network of the national standards institutes of 148 countries and is a non-governmental organization. ISO facilitates the international coordination and unification of industrial standards. In particular the standard ISO 14001 provides for establishing an environmental management system. This ISO web site provides information. Note that publications are for sale.

National Organizations


The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) offers for a nominal price Revised Guidelines for Waste Minimization in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, a revised version of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ manual. The IOGCC also has produced a video (about 40 minutes) which is designed to accompany their waste minimization manual. The video is a good training tool. On the IOGCC home page look under "Publications and Reports" to find ordering information for these items.

Also, the IOGCC home page offers information regarding naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). Click on "NORM Technology Connection" to access valuable NORM information. In particular the site provides links to several other useful web sites. The specific URL for the "NORM Technology Connection" is http://norm.iogcc.state.ok.us/technology/index.cfm .


The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) identifies and transfers upstream technologies to domestic producers. PTTC's technology programs include environmental issues. Of particular interest, the PTTC’s manual, "Produced Water and Associated Issues," provides useful guidance for managing and reducing produced water, reducing lifting costs, and controlling corrosion and mechanical wear. The manual, which is user-friendly, may be downloaded from the Oklahoma Geological Survey at http://www.ogs.ou.edu/PTTC/pwm/produced_water.pdf.


The Argonne National Laboratory has published several documents which may be helpful in waste minimization efforts. In particular, see the ANL’s Environmental Assessment Division at http://www.ead.anl.gov/. The following reports are of interest:

"A White Paper Describing Produced Water from Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal Bed Methane." Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38; Prepared by Argonne National Laboratory, John A. Veil, Markus G. Puder, Deborah Elcock, and Robert J. Redweik, Jr.; January 2004.


"Downhole Separation Technology Performance: Relationship to Geologic Conditions." Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38; Prepared by John A. Veil and John J. Quinn, Argonne National Laboratory; November 2004.


"Analysis of Data from a Downhole Oil/Water Separator Field Trial in East Texas." Prepared by John Veil, Argonne National Laboratory and Arthur Langhus Layne – LLC Tulsa, OK, under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38; funding provided by U.S. Department of Energy, National Petroleum Technology Office; February 2001.


"Summary of Data from DOE-Subsidized Field Trial #1 of Downhole Oil/Water Separator Technology: Texaco Well Bilbrey 30-Federal No.5 Lea County, New Mexico." Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Petroleum Technology Office; Prepared by John A. Veil Argonne National Laboratory, under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38; May 2000.


"Feasibility Evaluation of Downhole Oil/Water Separator (DOWS) Technology." Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, National Petroleum Technology Office; Prepared by John A. Veil Argonne National Laboratory, Bruce Langhus, CH2M Hill, and Stan Belieu, Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38; January 1999.


Also, ANL has established "The Drilling Waste Management Information System" web site at http://web.ead.anl.gov/dwm/. This site is an online resource for technical and regulatory information on practices for managing drilling muds and cuttings, including current practices, state and federal regulations, guidelines for optimal management practices, and case studies for successful applications. The Drilling Waste Management Information System was developed by ANL and industry partners, ChevronTexaco and Marathon, under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Natural Gas & Oil Technology Partnership program. Funding for the project was provided through DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory.


The American Petroleum Institute offers numerous publications, including waste management planning guidance.


The Gas Technology Institute (merger of Gas Research Institute and Institute of Gas Technology) is a valuable source of up-to-date technologies for natural gas production, treating and processing, and pipeline transportation.


NACE is the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. NACE offers technical papers and conference proceedings for sale and publish a technical journal that can be accessed on-line by subscribers. The site does not offer free material, but would be of interest to any engineer wishing to learn more about corrosion control.


Solvent Alternatives Guide (SAGE) is a comprehensive guide designed to provide pollution prevention information on solvent and process alternatives for parts cleaning and degreasing. SAGE does not recommend any ozone depleting chemicals.

Regional Organizations


"Pollution Prevention Opportunities in Oil and Gas Production, Drilling, and Exploration" was produced by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Research Center in 1993. The document reports on a meeting of industry and regulators to discuss pollution prevention opportunities. Although the meeting focused on E&P activities in Alaska, the participants addressed several waste minimization ideas that may be useful in other producing areas.



The Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) of New Mexico Tech is regarded both nationally and internationally as one of the nation's leading petroleum research centers. PRRC conducts both basic and applied research designed to improve recovery of petroleum and natural gas, particularly in many of the older oil fields. With respect to oil and gas waste minimization, PRRC studies include: using gels to reduce water production and increase reservoir sweep efficiency; and using a modified reverse osmosis system for treatment of produced water. The PRRC site also offers free software. (See http://baervan.nmt.edu/randy/ for Reservoir Sweep Improvement, e.g., gel placement, papers and software.)


The Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) is a consortium of the Univ. of Tulsa, the Univ. of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Univ. and the Univ. of Arkansas at Fayetteville. IPEC develops cost effective technologies to meet the challenges of environmental regulations, trains environmental professionals, and disseminates information regarding technology development and legal and regulatory issues. All to improve the competitiveness of the domestic petroleum industry. Of note, IPEC offers a program for "Improving Production Economics," which includes a "Quickcheck Site Checklist" and "Detailed Site Checklist." The checklists will help an operator eliminate costly leaks, drips, and spills. Select "Technology Transfer on the home page to find information.

U.S. Government

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


The Southwest Network for Zero Waste provides pollution prevention support services to state and local assistance providers in EPA's Region 6. and distributes P2 information to a broader audience that consists of industries, small businesses, agencies and other groups. The network is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx), a national network of regional P2 information centers. Of note, the network is the site for the "Oil and Gas Topic Hub." This site intends to be a clearinghouse of comprehensive oil and gas waste minimization and pollution prevention information. Although this site receives funding from EPA, its development and content is directed by the five EPA Region 6 states’ waste minimization and pollution prevention programs (including the Railroad Commission of Texas).


EPA's Pollution Prevention (P2) site offers pollution prevention information, including the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC). The P2 site has replaced the EnviroSense site. In the past, EPA's EnviroSense site offered the following publications published by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) Pollution Prevention Office, which may be available in the future: "Pollution Prevention Opportunities for the Oil Field Service Industry" and "Product Substitution Guide for the Oil Field Service Industry."


EPA's Natural Gas Star Program is a n additional source for waste minimization techniques in natural gas industry operations. The Natural Gas Star web site is an excellent source of information regarding methane emissions reduction opportunities. In particular, see the "Documents, Tools & Resources" page, which offers "Lessons Learned," "Partner Reported Opportunities," and "Case Studies." All Natural Gas Star Program materials are developed by natural gas company members. M ore information on the Natural Gas Star Program can be obtain by contacting the program at (202) 343-9386 or (202) 343-9086.


EPA's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment. ETV was created to accelerate the entrance of new environmental technologies into the domestic and international marketplace. The program achieves credibility because of direction by affected industries’ (including oil and gas) stakeholder groups and independent testing. ETV has verified certain technologies useful to the oil and gas industry, such as compressor rod-seals to reduce methane emissions and microturbines or fuel cells for on-site electricity generation.


The Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC) is a free, non-regulatory service of the US EPA dedicated to reducing or eliminating industrial pollutants through technology transfer, education, and public awareness. PPIC provides copies of EPA pollution prevention materials, answers questions about pollution prevention, and refers visitors to appropriate contacts for additional information. Contact PPIC by telephone (202-260-1023) or by fax (202-260-4659).


PPIC's complete list of publications.


The PPIC website also features a list of upcoming conferences and other training events. Suggestions for additions to the list are welcome.

U.S. Department of Energy


Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC) assists in development and demonstration of new equipment for production operations. In many instances, the demonstrated equipment modifications result in waste minimization and pollution prevention.


The DOE's National Petroleum Technology Office's Strategic Center for Natural Gas & Oil supports projects that may result in effective waste minimization technologies. In particular, select "Ref. Shelf," then select "Publications" to open newsletters such as "Eye on Environment."

Also, visit DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) web site at http://www.eere.energy.gov/industry/. In particular, the "Best Practices" web page at http://www.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/ offers useful waste minimization information. For example, the "Motors, Pumps, and Fans" page at http://www.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/motors.html offers energy efficiency technologies and software). Examples of technical publications include: "Replacing an Oversized and Underloaded Electric Motor," "Optimizing Your Motor Drive System," "Reducing Power Factor Cost," and "Energy Management for Motor Drive Systems."

Last Updated: 7/21/2015 5:23:03 AM