RRC Issues Notice to Operators Ahead of Harsh Winter Temperatures

January 11, 2024

The RRC has taken major steps to prepare for sub-freezing temperatures that are projected to grip Texas beginning this weekend. Residents and operators are encouraged to keep an eye on weather forecasts and safety alerts during this time.

Beginning in early December, Critical Infrastructure Division inspectors spread across the state to ensure natural gas facilities on the state’s electricity supply chain map are weatherized and in compliance with RRC’s weatherization rules. All of what are known as Tier One facilities have already been inspected, in addition to ongoing inspections of other facilities on the map. Tier One facilities are gas processing plants, underground gas storage facilities, pipelines that directly connect to electricity generation plants, and oil and gas leases that produce more than 5 million cubic feet of gas per day. No violations have been identified so far; weatherization inspections will continue through the beginning of the spring.

Another important layer in preparing for harsh weather is the amount of natural gas in underground storage in Texas. This is gas that can be utilized in case it’s needed during an emergency. At the end of November, which was the typical end of the injection season for winter, there was approximately 488.8 billion cubic feet of gas in storge, a five percent increase compared to the end of November 2022 and the highest amount in six years. The infrastructure for gas storage and withdrawal capacity has grown within a year which is a boon to protecting residents in a growing state.

The Commission will continue its round-the-clock work to stay on top of weather conditions including coordination with other state agencies for any necessary emergency response. The RRC will remain in constant communications with operators and other agencies, as has been done during past weather emergencies, to ensure an ample gas supply as we head into the long holiday weekend in which gas markets will be closed.

The RRC issued a Notice to Operators on incoming inclement weather which can be viewed here https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/roxm1a2u/2024_nto_winter-weather-forecast_1-11-2024.pdf.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.