RRC First in Nation to Utilize Federal Funds to Plug Even More Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

October 19, 2022

AUSTIN – Texas became the first state in the nation to begin plugging abandoned oil and gas wells using federal grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Plugging work began last week on an abandoned oil and gas well in Refugio County in South Texas. The RRC anticipates the initial grant will be used to plug approximately 800 abandoned wells. These would be in addition to 1,000 wells the agency anticipates will be plugged this year by the successful State Managed Plugging Program (SMP), using industry fee and fine revenue from the Oil and Gas Regulatory and Cleanup Fund.

“The RRC’s success and expertise with SMP was instrumental in quickly standing up the plugging project using federal funds,” said Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations. “Our established workplans and contracting will continue to help ensure neighborhoods and the environment across Texas are kept safe through our well plugging work.”

Well plugging work in Refugio County utilizing federal grants.

The RRC has a web page on the federal grant funds for abandoned oil and gas well plugging. That page is at the following link: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/environmental-cleanup-programs/federally-funded-well-plugging/

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/.