RRC Open Meeting

The Railroad Commission of Texas has scheduled an open meeting (conference) for today, Wednesday, April 24th at 9:30 a.m.
To view the webcast visit http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/rcc/open_meeting.

News

Agency News Items - 2023

December

  • Top Stories and Achievements for the RRC in 2023 Year in Review

    December 27, 2023

    The RRC's 2023 Year in Review highlights our commitment to protecting Texans and the environment by surpassing high standards set by the Legislature and by meeting or exceeding critical performance measures in orphaned well plugging and pipeline safety inspections.

    The Commission also increased our outreach efforts to the public and operators, and expressed our concerns about federal overreach that could negatively impact the Texas economy and affect the vitality of our state’s oil and gas industry.

    In 2023, the RRC once again excelled in our critical mission to protect Texas communities. Our renowned well plugging program helped the National Park Service on a project that garnered yet another award for the program; the map that helps state agencies ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity during weather emergencies got enhanced; and the state’s flaring rate remains at very low levels in our ongoing commitment to reduce flaring. See more of those highlights and watch the RRC Commissioners talk about our 2023 success in this year’s Year in Review.

  • RRC Inspectors Blanket Texas for Major Winter Weatherization Inspections

    December 20, 2023

    AUSTIN – December has been a very busy month for inspectors in RRC’s Critical Infrastructure Division (CID). Starting in early December inspectors began weatherization inspections at hundreds of critical natural gas facilities in different regions of the state to ensure gas supply is protected for Texans this winter season.   

    CID has already inspected 99% of what are known as Tier One facilities which 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. Facilities inspected are in compliance with RRC rules and no violations have been cited so far in the inspection cycle.

    In addition to the weatherization inspections, another key factor in fortifying the gas supply for the winter is the amount of natural gas stored in underground facilities. The gas storage infrastructure has grown in Texas since last year, which is a huge benefit for the state. There was approximately 482 billion cubic feet of working gas in underground storage in Texas as of the end of October, which is six percent more gas in storage than the same time last year and the highest level for same period of the last six years.

    “Tier One gas facilities are major components that help ensure ample gas supply during a potential weather emergency,” said Wei Wang, Railroad Commission Executive Director. “The Commission will continue to inspect these facilities multiple times during the winter season. In total, we expect to conduct more than 5,600 inspections of critical gas facilities on the electric supply chain map. In addition, we are seeing a record amount of gas stored underground in case it’s needed during an emergency. The RRC wants to ensure Texans that we will be working diligently with operators throughout the winter to protect residents’ safety in any weather emergency.”

    Weatherization methods utilized by operators at gas facilities are diverse given the geographical and climate variations in a large state like Texas. In this video, CID South Region Manager Andrea Meyer explains different weatherization techniques that inspectors have seen during their ongoing inspections https://youtu.be/kCftia5gDHU.

  • RRC Begins Planning and Oversight with Newly Established Texas Hydrogen Production Policy Council

    December 14, 2023

    AUSTIN- Hydrogen will soon become a vital component in the expansion of the energy industry in Texas, providing greater energy production and further boost the economy with job creation. After House Bill 2847 was passed by the 88th Legislature, The Texas Hydrogen Production Policy Council, (TxH2 Council) was established within the Railroad Commission and clarifies the agency’s regulatory jurisdiction over hydrogen pipelines and underground storage facilities.

    The Council is tasked with making recommendations to the Legislature on updates necessary for the oversight and regulation of production, pipeline transportation, and storage of hydrogen. Duties of the Council will include developing a state plan for hydrogen production oversight by the RRC, analyzing the development of hydrogen industries around the state, and monitoring regional efforts for the application and development of a clean hydrogen hub authorized under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    Pursuant to the bill, the chair of the Council is Chairman Craddick of the Commission, and RRC appointed 11 additional members to the Council. The RRC opened up applications for Council members in September and had a large number of submissions before selecting a diverse group of experts from academia, NGOs, research organizations, service companies, downstream customers, producers, transportation and storage companies, all are represented by this Council. 

    The TxH2 Council had its first meeting, an organizational meeting, on December 14, and the following individuals have been appointed to the Council: Richard Fenza from Air Liquide, Preston Kurtz from Air Products & Chemicals, Nigel Jenvey from Baker Hughes, Keith Wall from CenterPoint Energy, Ian Lindsay from Chevron New Energies, Angie Murray from Enterprise Products, Scott Anderson from Environmental Defense Fund, Brian Weeks from GTI Energy, Jeffrey Pollack from Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Brian Korgel from the University of Texas and Kelsie Van Hoose from Williams Companies.

    Historically, the RRC has been an energy regulator since 1917 when pipelines were declared to be common carriers and placed under the Commission's jurisdiction. Over a century later, the Commission continues to lead with regulatory expertise in the number one energy producing state in the U.S.

     

                                                           # # #

  • RRC Commissioner Christian op-ed: No Coal for Radical Environmentalists this Christmas

    By Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian
    December 14, 2023

    Christmas came early for radical environmentalists at the end of the United Nations’ climate conference (COP 28). These anti-humanists got their wish of a UN pledge to end fossil fuels.

    More than 190 governments feverously approved an agreement telling the world and global economy to start limiting use of coal, oil, and natural gas. This will certainly have an impact for producers who will see more bureaucratic red tape and increasing limits to an already drought-ridden financial capital market. 

    I’d love to put some coal in their stockings this Christmas. This pledge isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on—it denies reality.

    It denies the fact fossil fuels power 80% of world energy. Are we going to replace that with wind and solar power? The U.S. has spent more than $15 billion on unreliable energy subsidies for them to supply only about 20% of power. Texans know best how much electric grids can count on wind and solar when they’re needed the most. 

    Natural gas makes fertilizers that help feed about 4 billion people. Will organic farming feed the world? It can barely feed half the global population at best.

    Petroleum helps make 96% of everyday items like plastics, medicine, tech products, and much more. How will society function without modern technology? It won’t and people will die young, cold, and hungry.

    Mark my words, this pledge won’t be the end of fossil fuels, but it will make our world more expensive, power less reliable, and nations less secure—especially America. Our nation is rich with fossil fuels that could easily provide our country with energy independence, a robust economy, and national security for decades to come.

    President Joe Biden didn’t waste any time with this pledge and had his EPA roll out onerous new rules on oil and gas producers. These new rules will have a disproportionate impact on smaller producers, which make up more than 83% of U.S. production. At a time when producers are facing financial drought from Wall Street and political headwinds from Washington Democrats, that last thing the industry needs is more bureaucratic red tape stifling business.

    Battling the ‘Chicken Little’ catastrophists – who want to send humanity back to the Stone Age – is a fight where commonsense needs to win. The war for a fossil future is here, and it’s being fought from Texas to the Middle East. 

    While Biden and the UN presume the science of a climate crisis is settled, let us not forget that climate chicken-littles have been saying the sky is falling for 50 years. The UN climate models are constantly being “updated” or modified, and their wildly irresponsible climate predictions – like Fifty Million Climate Refugees by the Year 2020 – have not happened.

    Or perhaps the myth that all scientists agree on climate change. Spoiler alert! Not all scientists agree, despite what you may hear at the UN or on the news. I bet you didn’t hear about Nobel Prize winning physicist, John Clauser, joining the 1,600 other scientists who have an open 2019 declaration against the climate “emergency” myth. That doesn’t sound like settled science to me.

    America, despite mainstream reporting, leads the world in the production of clean, affordable, plentiful, and reliable energy. The U.S. is a global leader in reducing emissions, not through regulation, but technological innovation. EPA regulated emissions are down 78% in the last half century, while the economy boomed by 286%, population increased by 61%, and energy use is up by 37%.  

    There’s good news out there, my friends. Fossil fuels are saving mankind, and we need to preach its gospel.

     

                                                                                     # # #

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $1 Million in Penalties

    December 13, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,388,044 in fines involving 316 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Fifty-seven dockets involved $710,678 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $139,166 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $538,200.00for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

     

                                                                        # # #

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for September 2023

    December 11, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for September 2023 reported in the tables below came from 161,716 oil wells and 86,527 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

     

    TABLE 1 - September 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    111,887,873 BBLS (barrels)

    3,729,596 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    890,886,382 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    29,696,213 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

    TABLE 2 - September 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    131,669,039 BBLS

    104,411,343 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    956,902,128 mcf

    742,905,046 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 September 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MARTIN

    16,971,500

    2.

    MIDLAND

    16,338,862

    3.

    UPTON

    7,689,754

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,061,243

    5.

    KARNES

    6,164,664

    6.

    LOVING

    5,973,352

    7.

    REEVES

    4,910,920

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,336,308

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,787,146

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,381,560


    TABLE 4 – September 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    83,168,922

    2.

    WEBB

    81,780,733

    3.

    MIDLAND

    65,981,943

    4.

    PANOLA

    46,562,659

    5.

    MARTIN

    42,760,737

    6.

    LOVING

    38,566,358

    7.

    CULBERSON

    37,065,455

    8.

    UPTON

    31,234,786

    9.

    HARRISON

    30,657,191

    10.

    HOWARD

    25,374,142

     

    TABLE 5 – September 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,534,733

    2.

    LOVING

    4,394,983

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,195,078

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,289,391

    5.

    WEBB

    1,208,034

    6.

    KARNES

    1,171,799

    7.

    DIMMIT

    632,578

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    548,002

    9.

    WARD

    488,262

    10.

    MCMULLEN

    329,369

    ###

  • Texas Oil & Gas Commissioner Slams Biden Administration’s Job-Killing Oil & Gas Rules

    December 05, 2023

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding new onerous methane rules proposed by the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    “While costs for hard-working Americans are up nearly $11,000 this year everywhere from the gas pump to the grocery store, President Biden’s solution to inflation is to increase regulations that will make American oil and gas more expensive,” said Commissioner Christian. “Petroleum helps make more than 96% of everyday consumer items like plastics, food, medicine, and more. These new rules on U.S. oil and natural gas producers will certainly drive those prices up.”

    “These new rules are likely to have a disproportionate impact on smaller producers, which make up more than 83% of U.S. production. At a time when producers are facing financial drought from Wall Street and political headwinds from Washington Democrats, that last thing the industry needs is more bureaucratic red tape stifling business,” Christian continued. “It’s hypocritical to kill clean fossil fuel jobs here in America claiming it ensures a clean environment, and then beg our foreign adversaries to produce more using much less environment-friendly methods. Americans are struggling with high prices and the answer to that strife is simple—more U.S. oil and gas production.”

    BACKGROUND:

    The U.S. is a global leader in reducing emissions, not through regulation – but technological innovation. In fact, methane emissions in the U.S. are down about 66% and down 76% in Texas. Additionally, EPA regulated emissions are down 78% in the last 50 years, while the economy boomed by 286%, population increased by 61%, and energy use is up by 37%.   

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for November 2023

    December 05, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 639 original drilling permits in November 2023. The total includes 588 to drill new oil or gas wells, 5 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 37 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in November 2023 is:  138 oil, 33 gas, 449 oil and gas, 8 injection, one service, and 10 other permits.

    In November 2023, Commission staff processed 627 oil, 196 gas and 143 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – October 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    62

    57

    37

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    33

     31

    29

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    20

    11

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    9

    1

    6

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    2

    2

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    28

    3

    35

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    17

    9

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    65

    79

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    290

    315

    65

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    32

    11

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    25

    17

    6

    (10) PANHANDLE

    5

    1

    1

    TOTAL

    588

    537

    186

     

    # # #

  • Additions to Electricity Supply Chain Map Strengthen State’s Emergency Response Capability

    New Layers Display Water and Wastewater Facilities, Roads to Critical Infrastructure Sites
    December 04, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Texas Electricity Supply Chain Map now includes more information that will assist state emergency officials in preparing for, responding to and recovering from weather emergencies or other disasters.

    The map was created in April 2022, and has successfully been used by state emergency officials during weather emergencies including severe storms last winter season. It’s a crucial tool used by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the Railroad Commission (RRC), and state emergency responders to respond to issues in real-time through direct communication and movement of resources necessary for maintenance or repair of electric generation and transmission infrastructure during an emergency.

    The map identifies critical infrastructure facilities that are in the state’s electricity supply chain, including electric generation plants and the natural gas facilities that supply fuel to power the generation plants. New layers of information added include water and wastewater treatment plants, and the roads that provide access to all the facilities on the map.

    The map has:

    • More than 12,740 facilities including electricity generation plants powered by natural gas, electric substations, natural gas processing plants, underground gas storage facilities, oil and gas well leases, saltwater disposal wells;

    • More than 21,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines and approximately 60,000 miles of electric transmission lines;

    • Approximately 13,000 water and wastewater treatment plants; and

    • A basemap layer of Texas Department of Transportation roads.

    “The Texas Electricity Supply Chain Map is a critical tool for the PUCT and emergency responders across the state,” said Thomas Gleeson, PUCT Executive Director. “These updates and additional map layers will further strengthen our ability to maintain the reliability of critical infrastructure, respond to incidents during emergencies, and keep Texans safe. I thank the Mapping Committee and state agency partners for their collaboration on this effort.”

    “The map is one of many steps we take to help ensure residents’ safety during weather emergencies,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “The RRC has already begun inspections to ensure natural gas facilities are weatherized and fortified for the winter, similar to last winter. This supply chain map is the first of its kind in the nation and has proven to be a valuable tool for emergency management personnel to triage, respond, and collaborate real-time during emergencies. It’s all part of the extensive work state agencies undertake in our mission to protect Texans.” 

    The map also includes elements such as Texas Division of Emergency Management regions, emergency contact information for facilities, and weather watches and warnings as they occur in any part of the state. The map is updated with critical infrastructure at least twice a year.

    Senate Bill 3 passed by the 87th Texas Legislature required the PUCT and RRC to create the map. New information such as roads and water plants were added through provisions in Senate Bill 1093 passed by the 88th Legislature this year.

    Legislation prohibits public release of the map and corresponding data to protect the safety and integrity of the electricity supply chain.

    The map is overseen by the Texas Electricity Supply Chain Security and Mapping Committee, which is comprised of the Public Utility Commission, the Railroad Commission, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and the Texas Department of Transportation.

    The committee will hold a public meeting on January 25, 2024, which will be livestreamed for the public at https://www.puc.texas.gov/agency/Broadcasts.aspx.

    ###

November

  • Christian Applauds Texas State Board of Education for Supporting Fair Treatment of Oil & Gas Industry in Textbooks

    November 17, 2023

    AUSTIN – Today, the Texas State Board of Educations voted on its Proclamation 2024 which determines the types of textbooks and materials students will use in the 2024-2025 school year. Following the SBOE’s actions, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded the outcome and said the following:

    “Students need to learn about fossil fuels and real-world energy, where it comes from, how it works, and most importantly how it creates a better world,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “America’s future generations don’t need a leftist agenda brainwashing them in the classroom to hate oil and natural gas. Our economy needs STEM students that understand the difference between dispatchable, reliable power and intermittent, unreliable power. Fossil fuels help power 80% of global energy, make 96% of consumer items, finance our state and national economies, and feed billions of people all over the world. The Texas State Board of Education did the right thing by rejecting radical environmentalist propaganda on ‘net zero’ and ensuring our students learn the benefits of fossil fuels.”

     

    Commissioner Christian sent a letter in early November encouraging the SBOE board to adopt curriculum that would include the benefits of Texas oil and natural gas production.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

     

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $1 Million in Penalties

    November 15, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,063,647 in fines involving 342 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Eighteen dockets involved $217,172 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $44,025 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $ 802,450.00 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

                                                                                             # # #

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for August 2023

    November 09, 2023

    AUSTIN–– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for August 2023 reported in the tables below came from 161,799 oil wells and 86,513 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/


    TABLE 1 - August 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    117,783,828 BBLS (barrels)

    3,799,478 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    930,548,995 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    30,017,710 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.


    TABLE 2 - August 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    132,065,164 BBLS

    111,170,582 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    975,167,176 mcf

    856,297,283 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 August 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    18,345,996

    2.

    MARTIN

    16,616,941

    3.

    HOWARD

    8,496,391

    4.

    UPTON

    7,535,969

    5.

    KARNES

    6,355,589

    6.

    LOVING

    5,610,087

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,806,143

    8.

    REEVES

    4,793,613

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,775,644

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,529,857


    TABLE 4 – August 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    WEBB

    84,691,914

    2.

    REEVES

    79,146,215

    3.

    MIDLAND

    69,718,702

    4.

    PANOLA

    47,522,851

    5.

    MARTIN

    42,740,419

    6.

    LOVING

    39,079,104

    7.

    CULBERSON

    37,480,878

    8.

    HARRISON

    34,156,204

    9.

    UPTON

    32,383,427

    10.

    REAGAN

    31,425,023

     

    TABLE 5 – August 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,228,281

    2.

    LOVING

    4,801,903

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,433,375

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,367,197

    5.

    KARNES

    1,230,087

    6.

    WEBB

    1,049,864

    7.

    DIMMIT

    744,905

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    640,612

    9.

    WARD

    465,767

    10.

    MCMULLEN

    327,572

                                                                                              ###

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for October 2023

    November 08, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 700 original drilling permits in October 2023. The total includes 630 to drill new oil or gas wells, 7 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 50 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in October 2023 is:  127 oil, 49 gas, 482 oil and gas, 32 injection, four service, and six other permits.

    In October 2023, Commission staff processed 761 oil, 185 gas and 163 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 – October 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    82

    114

    23

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    34

     41

    25

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    19

    14

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    7

    2

    5

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    2

    2

    6

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    18

    5

    15

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    15

    7

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    51

    50

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    352

    387

    83

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    12

    23

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    36

    20

    15

    (10) PANHANDLE

    2

    6

    2

    TOTAL

    630

    671

    178

     

                                                                                         # # #

  • Christian Opposes Anti-Oil & Gas Indoctrination Textbooks for Texas Students

    November 01, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) issued its Proclamation 2024 which will determine the types of textbooks and materials for Texas students in the 2024-2025 school year. As a part of the public comment, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian sent a letter to the SBOE with concerns that the materials would adopt a radical environmentalist agenda promoting ‘net zero’ lessons over teaching students realistic STEM skills needed for high-paying jobs in the energy industry. 

    “Texas students don’t need to be brainwashed in class that oil and gas is evil, when our schools should be preparing them for the real world,” said Commissioner Christian. “The Lone Star State needs a challenging, unbiased, and practical approach to educating our STEM students, preparing them for in-demand, high paying jobs in Texas’ oil and gas industry. The last thing our state needs is a woke environmental agenda pushed by President Biden and former Vice President Al Gore teaching our kids to hate fossil fuels.”

    Read the letter here

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

October

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $2 Million in Penalties

    October 24, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $2,425,495.50 in fines involving 597 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Fifty-nine dockets involved $1,010,697 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $151,986 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $1,262,812.50 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

                                                                     

                                                                              # # #

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for September 2023

    October 19, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 816 original drilling permits in September 2023. The total includes 709 to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 80 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in September 2023 is:  180 oil, 64 gas, 519 oil and gas, 35 injection, one service, and 17 other permits.

    In September 2023, Commission staff processed 778 oil, 275 gas and 338 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/


    TABLE 1
    – September 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    80

    92

    33

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    35

    40

    55

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    11

    9

    9

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    17

    1

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    2

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    39

    2

    21

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    4

    11

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    56

    84

    1

    (8) MIDLAND

    414

    389

    119

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    20

    24

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    22

    20

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    9

    9

    1

    TOTAL

    709

    684

    254

     

                                                                                         ###

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for July 2023

    October 19, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for July 2023 reported in the tables below came from 161,815 oil wells and 86,810 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

     

    TABLE 1 - July 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    117,769,397 BBLS (barrels)

    3,799,013 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    954,647,301 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    30,795,074 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 - July 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    130,851,785 BBLS

    104,059,885 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    996,626,316 mcf

    834,399,424 mcf

    TABLE 3 July 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

     

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    18,730,194

    2.

    MARTIN

    15,821,227

    3.

    UPTON

    7,133,098

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,021,739

    5.

    KARNES

    6,356,385

    6.

    LOVING

    5,700,685

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    5,236,821

    8.

    REEVES

    5,121,097

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,684,467

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,505,196

     

    TABLE 4 – July 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    86,846,013

    2.

    WEBB

    86,398,626

    3.

    MIDLAND

    75,420,445

    4.

    PANOLA

    48,453,531

    5.

    LOVING

    42,845,401

    6.

    MARTIN

    41,630,794

    7.

    CULBERSON

    38,297,025

    8.

    HARRISON

    36,852,159

    9.

    UPTON

    33,112,242

    10.

    LA SALLE

    28,088,303

     

    TABLE 5 – July 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,166,963

    2.

    LOVING

    4,324,065

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,035,730

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,212,133

    5.

    KARNES

    1,175,990

    6.

    WEBB

    989,149

    7.

    DIMMIT

    750,153

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    669,021

    9.

    WARD

    439,344

    10.

    LA SALLE

    395,835

    ###

  • RRC Well Plugging Program Receives More National Recognition

    October 18, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission’s award-winning well plugging program received yet another accolade – receiving the esteemed Chair’s Environmental Partnership Award from the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The award was for completing a complex project that ensured boater safety at the Big Thicket National Preserve earlier this year.

    The National Park Service (NPS) contacted the Commission to remove surface casings on four wells that had been plugged in the Neches River in East Texas by operators 40 years prior. The tall, underwater surface casings had become exposed over time and posed a risk to boaters in the area. The RRC organized contractors and divers to remove river debris and cut the steel casings at the riverbed to get them removed safely.

    The Commission’s plugging program works aggressively to protect the environment and communities around the state, as evidenced by the fact that the agency has exceeded well plugging targets set by the Legislature for seven straight years. And according to a 2021 IOGCC report, Texas saw one of the lowest increases in the orphan well population among all producing states since 2018, despite being the number one oil and gas producer in the country.

    “The Commission has been nationally recognized for our well plugging program and this award is yet another example of the reputation we have gained in our commitment to protecting Texans and the environment,” said Wei Wang, Executive Director. “We were pleased to lend our expertise and successfully remove the hazards at Big Thicket which keeps the area safe for visitors to continue to enjoy for years to come.”   

    Diver working on surface casing at Big Thicket National Preserve

    (L-R) RRC Commissioner Jim Wright, Deputy Executive Director Danny Sorrells, Project Manager Keith May, and Executive Director Wei Wang with the IOGCC Award.

    The NPS, and the contractor that worked on the project, Laredo Construction, also received the award along with the RRC. 

    This was the second time the IOGCC has recognized the RRC for its exceptional work at a national park. The Commission received an award in 2021 for well plugging work at Padre Island National Seashore – a popular tourist destination on the Texas coast.

    Click on this link to see a video of the important work that went into the project.

  • Railroad Commission Completes Yet Another Impressive Fiscal Year Exceeding Critical Performance Goals

    October 10, 2023

    AUSTIN - Fiscal Year 2023 has now come to an end and the RRC has once again exceeded regulatory goals in its critical mission to protect communities and the environment, while Texas continues to be the top energy producing state in the nation.

    The Texas Legislature sets annual performance measures for each state agency, and year-after-year the Commission has maintained a high-level of meeting or exceeding those expectations in its important work regulating the oil and gas industry, intrastate pipelines, surface mining, and alternative fuels.

    RRC’s Oil and Gas Division worked tirelessly to exceed the target in its award winning Well Plugging Program for the seventh year in a row. The Legislature set a target of 1,000 orphaned wells to be plugged in fiscal year 2023, and the RRC plugged a total 1,750 wells including1,020 wells with oil and gas funds and an additional 730 orphaned wells using federal grants.

    The Commission’s Pipeline Safety Division far surpassed their annual target in specialized pipeline inspections, which consists of operator program evaluations, pipeline integrity management reviews, new construction inspections, as well as other safety inspections to ensure safe transportation through the state’s vast pipeline system. 

    “I’m proud of the work RRC staff have put in yet another successful year to ensure public safety while also helping meet the critical energy needs of Texans and the nation,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “Texans expect results from us. They deserve it, and our staff delivers it everyday. A great example of providing that service is through exceeding the performance goals set by the Legislature. That is our bottom line.”

    Examples of legislative goals the RRC met or exceeded in FY 23 include:

    Category Legislative Target Achieved

    Number of orphaned wells plugged

    1,000

    1,750

    Number of oil and gas well and facility inspections performed

    345,000

    424,952

    Number pipeline specialized program evaluations performed

    1,650

    2,275

    Average number of days to process a drilling permit

    3

    3

     

  • RRC Comments on Proposed Expansion of Rice’s Whale Critical Habitat that Will Create an Alarming Effect on the Texas Economy

    October 09, 2023

    AUSTIN-The Railroad Commission of Texas has submitted comments in response to the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) proposal to designate a huge swath of waters in the Gulf of Mexico - approximately 28,270 square miles - as expanded critical habitat for the Rice’s whale without sufficient data. The zealous proposal may lead to major limitations when transporting oil and gas products, which in turn would have an alarming and negative effect on the economy of Texas.

    The Gulf Coast is vital to Texas being the leading state for energy exports, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, as well as petroleum and coal product exports. A study by American Petroleum Institute found that increased exports of LNG could support between 220,000 and 452,000 more jobs for the U.S. labor market and add up to $73 billion to the U.S. economy by 2040.

    Restricting energy activity in the Gulf of Mexico will impact the supply of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquified natural gas when there’s no scientific evidence to support a vast habitat that spans from Texas to Florida, as the Service is proposing. Without a solid foundation of scientific, fully peer-reviewed data, and observations, the current proposal raises serious concerns that the Service does not have adequate scientific evidence to base its proposed designation.

    The RRC acknowledges that conservation of the environment and biodiversity are important issues; however, a proposal to designate such an expansive area as critical habitat with serious ramifications requires more scientific proof and reasonable consideration.

     

    The full comment letter can be found at this link

     

  • RRC Proposes Major Overhaul for Water Protection and Oil & Gas Waste Management Rules

    October 02, 2023

    AUSTIN- For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Railroad Commission’s Statewide Rule 8 will undergo a substantial overhaul to better reflect modern waste management practices and recent advancements in production methods. 

    One of the highest priorities of the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is the protection of groundwater resources. Water protection is a major consideration in many of the Commission's Statewide Rules and is one of the primary purposes of Statewide Rule 8. The revisions proposed by the Commission under Chapter 4 and Statewide Rule 8 reflect the Commission’s mission to serve Texas through our stewardship of natural resources and the environment.

    The proposed changes include streamlining of Statewide Rule 8 into the Commission’s existing Chapter 4 regulations concerning environmental protection, updating requirements on the design, construction, operation, monitoring, and closure of waste management units, and improving the Commission’s ability to track and collect data with respect to oilfield waste transported throughout Texas.

    The changes being proposed will provide clear direction to operators and Commission staff that will help protect environmental resources and the public across Texas.

    The new proposals are now posted on the RRC website for informal public comment. The Commission will be hosting both an informal and virtual hearing on the proposed changes where interested parties are encouraged to attend and provide oral or written comments regarding the proposed changes under consideration.

    The link to the informal posting can be found here.

    Staff will review and consider those informal comments prior to formally proposing the rule for public consideration in the Texas Register.

September

  • Commissioner Christian Accuses Biden Administration of ‘Weaponizing’ Endangered Species Act to Stop Texas Oil & Gas Production

    September 28, 2023

    AUSTIN – Today, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian authored a letter to the Biden Administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) opposing their pending rule which would designate the Dune Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) as an endanger species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With the DSL primarily residing in the Permian Basin region, this classification will specifically impact hydrocarbon exploration and production in West Texas.

    In the letter, Commissioner Christian detailed concerns that this unnecessary action could severely stifle Texas oil and natural gas operations, weaken American energy independence, and jeopardize U.S. national security.

    “Texas must fight the Biden Administration on this most recent ‘weaponization’ of the ESA trying to shut down oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin,” said Commissioner Christian.

    “Radical environmentalists’ favorite legal weapon against responsible fossil fuel production has always been the ESA –whether it’s the Lesser Prairie Chicken or the Dune Sagebrush Lizard,” continued Christian. “President Biden has made it his top priority to end domestic fossil fuel production. And his administration has used every attack possible to see it done be it through limiting federal permitting, an EPA non-attainment designation, excessive methane monitoring requirements, and now another unnecessary ESA designation. Right now, the world needs more energy and it needs more Texas oil and gas, and all this designation will accomplish is to limit that.”

    Read the letter here.

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. Learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More than $1 Million in Penalties

    September 21, 2023

    AUSTIN-The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,632,973 in fines involving 417 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Twenty-two dockets involved $639,355 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $74,868 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $918,750.00 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

    # # #

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for June 2023

    September 14, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for June 2023 reported in the tables below came from 164,826 oil wells and 87,414 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

    TABLE 1 - June 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    109,053,025 BBLS (barrels)

    3,635,101 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    904,389,540 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    30,146,318 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 - June 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    125,461,273 BBLS

    107,080,369 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    958,474,194 mcf

    827,921,487 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 June 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    17,721,299

    2.

    MARTIN

    15,027,978

    3.

    UPTON

    7,384,650

    4.

    HOWARD

    6,447,427

    5.

    KARNES

    5,780,648

    6.

    LOVING

    5,611,427

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,811,513

    8.

    REEVES

    4,397,738

    9.

    REAGAN

    3,609,076

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,137,019

    TABLE 4 – June 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    82,736,337

    2.

    WEBB

    74,076,735

    3.

    MIDLAND

    65,341,364

    4.

    PANOLA

    47,791,675

    5.

    MARTIN

    41,384,684

    6.

    LOVING

    41,045,609

    7.

    CULBERSON

    38,432,816

    8.

    HARRISON

    33,878,447

    9.

    UPTON

    31,953,626

    10.

    REAGAN

    30,431,264

     

     

     

    TABLE 5 – June 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,932,565

    2.

    LOVING

    4,200,669

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,164,629

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,242,600

    5.

    KARNES

    1,200,266

    6.

    WEBB

    911,458

    7.

    DIMMIT

    669,163

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    539,502

    9.

    WARD

    396,218

    10.

    LA SALLE

    367,419

    ###

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for August 2023

    September 11, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 820 original drilling permits in August 2023. The total includes 710 to drill new oil or gas wells, 8 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 92 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in August 2023 is:  162 oil, 55 gas, 560 oil and gas, 30 injection, and 13 other permits.

    In August 2023, Commission staff processed 876 oil, 264 gas and 399 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

August

  • RRC Commissioners Assess more than $2 Million in Penalties

    August 31, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $2,335,764 in fines involving 125 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday, August 22. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Forty-nine dockets involved $424,278 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings.
    Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $360,186 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $1,551,300.00for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.
    Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for May 2023

    August 17, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for May 2023 came from 163,182 oil wells and 87,370 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

    TABLE 1 - May 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    113,851,974 BBLS (barrels)

    3,672,644 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    917,272,001 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    29,589,419 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

    TABLE 2 - May 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    129,073,979 BBLS

    109,090,916 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    993,667,070 mcf

    847,979,160 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 May 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    18,086,113

    2.

    MARTIN

    15,746,865

    3.

    UPTON

    7,521,680

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,197,302

    5.

    LOVING

    6,428,016

    6.

    KARNES

    6,019,558

    7.

    REEVES

    4,523,249

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,450,625

    9.

    REAGAN

    3,804,585

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,622,140

     

    TABLE 4 – May 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    WEBB

    80,989,354

    2.

    REEVES

    80,059,118

    3.

    MIDLAND

    67,068,346

    4.

    PANOLA

    51,328,022

    5.

    LOVING

    44,083,662

    6.

    MARTIN

    42,180,921

    7.

    CULBERSON

    38,108,862

    8.

    UPTON

    32,754,908

    9.

    HARRISON

    32,576,942

    10.

    REAGAN

    25,341,340

      

    TABLE 5 – May 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,723,069

    2.

    LOVING

    4,398,590

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,215,679

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,439,437

    5.

    KARNES

    1,214,102

    6.

    WEBB

    1,080,725

    7.

    DIMMIT

    792,017

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    587,540

    9.

    LA SALLE

    360,333

    10.

    WARD

    283,790

     

  • Commissioner Christian Pens Letter to Governor Abbott and Land Commissioner Buckingham Opposing Offshore Wind Farms Off Texas Gulf Coast

    August 16, 2023

    AUSTIN –Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham voicing his opposition to the installation of offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico after the Biden Administration announced plans to auction off more than 300,000 acres for offshore wind energy.

    In the letter, Commissioner Christian detailed concerns with wind farms along the Atlantic Coast that likely will translate to the implementation of windmills along the Texas Gulf Coast and suggests actions that could be taken to halt installation.

    “Texas must stop President Biden’s offshore wind farms from invading the Gulf of Mexico, which endanger our gulf coast by harming delicate ecologies and vital industries and further cripple our electrical grid with more unreliable power,” said Commissioner Christian.

    “From funding his ‘green’ energy fantasies with the passage of the largest climate bill in history to an unrelenting barrage of bureaucratic rules from his agencies, Biden has kept his campaign promise of transitioning America away from fossil fuels and our nation’s middle class is worse off for it,” continued Christian. “Offshore wind is just President Biden’s next ploy of taxpayer subsidized boondoggles that will have far-reaching implications for environmental ecosystems, industries, transportation, supply chains, local communities and more.”

    You can read the letter here.

    If you would like to learn more about how offshore wind is harmful, check out “Wayne’s World: Energizing Texas.” Episode #14 featuring Meghan Lapp. Lapp is the fisheries liaison for Atlantic commercial fishers suing regarding the offshore wind farms along the Atlantic coast. You can find it here.

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Submits Comments on Proposed EPA Rules that Could Stifle Reliable Energy to Protect Texans

    August 15, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted joint comments opposing the EPA’s proposed rule that would add regulations to fossil fuel-fired electric generating units in attempts to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

    The likely outcome of this rule could result in the elimination of coal-fired units and a reduced ability to operate natural-gas fired power plants, which are critical for electricity supply in a state experiencing a booming population like Texas.

    The comments also detail the unrealistic assumptions and artificially high metrics EPA used to estimate the climate benefits of the rule. Additionally, the supplemental costs involved, along with the additional infrastructure that would be necessary to implement the proposed requirements, would impose unreasonable costs in comparison to the anticipated benefits, all while placing reliable fuel supply for the electric grid at risk.

    “The EPA continues to undermine the needs of Americans,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “The latest proposed rule is unrealistic and potentially dangerous as it reduces or eliminates access to electricity for consumers. During extreme heat waves, like we are currently experiencing in Texas, and extreme cold snaps, access to power from natural gas and coal is critical for survival. I am proud to join with TCEQ and push back against these outrageous proposed regulations.”

    "President Biden’s obsession with ‘net-zero’ is propping up unreliable energy sources that only make our electric grids unstable and leave consumers with higher energy costs,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “In May, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned that the retirement of thermal-based energies is leaving our grids extremely vulnerable to power blackouts, and this decision will only lead to less investment in those sources and less reliable energy on our grids.”

    “Our state and our nation are at a crossroads when it comes to the future reliability of the electric grid. Unfortunately, the EPA’s proposed rule will send us further down the path of less dependability and higher consumer costs,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “Since 2000, the population of Texas has increased by 43% and our economy has grown by 88%, yet we’ve added only 18% more dispatchable generation to our electric grid. The EPA’s short-sided approach will only serve to further disincentivize investment in reliable electric generation and reduce our ability to provide electricity when it is needed most.”

    A final rule from the EPA is expected in early 2024.

    The joint comments submitted by the RRC and TCEQ can be found at this link https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/cxxps5re/epa-comments-081423.pdf

    .

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for July 2023

    August 09, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 772 original drilling permits in July 2023. The total includes 681 to drill new oil or gas wells, 6 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 73 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in July 2023 is:  145 oil, 65 gas, 521 oil and gas, 35 injection, and six other permits.

    In July 2023, Commission staff processed 740 oil, 208 gas and 499 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – July 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES NEW OIL COMPLETIONS NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    58

    115

    16

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    33

    72

    23

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    8

    12

    10

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    16

    1

    11

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    2

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    43

    5

    32

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    9

    9

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    60

    71

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    388

    276

    66

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    14

    22

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    48

    11

    15

    (10) PANHANDLE

    1

    4

    12

    TOTAL

    681

    600

    186

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

     

  • RRC Names Joe Parks as the New Director of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division

    August 02, 2023

    The Railroad Commission is excited to announce Joe Parks as the new Director of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division (SMRD). Parks joined the RRC in October 2016 as an Engineering Specialist and was most recently the Assistant Director for SMRD.

    SMRD oversees coal exploration, mining, and mine reclamation in Texas to ensure operators follow Commission rules and regulations established to protect public safety and natural resources.

    Before coming to the RRC, Parks held positions such as plant manager, environmental supervisor, and technician at various mining operations, as well as being an Adjunct Instructor at Navarro College.

    “I began my career in the mining industry in 1983 working on one of the first RRC lignite mining permits submittals. I feel I have come full circle within the Texas mining industry with an understanding in both the regulatory and operational aspects of the industry,” said Parks.

    He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology with a minor in General Business from Sam Houston State University. He also attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied at the McCombs School of Business in Executive Education and Leadership.

  • Surface Mining & Reclamation Division 2023 Texas Reclamation Award

    August 01, 2023

    The Texas Municipal Power Agency (TMPA) is the latest recipient of the RRC’s Texas Reclamation Award. The award recognizes the successful reclamation of the Pond SP-50 Islands Project at TMPA’s Gibbons Creek Lignite Mine, vastly improving the land from its former natural state.

    Since its reclamation, the site has become a popular location for the Christmas Bird Count and aquatic wildlife in Grimes County, east of Bryan.

    Pond SP-50 Islands Project was originally built in 1994 for sediment control of a new area and mining began in 1995.  Later that year, TMPA closed Gibbons Creek Lignite Mine and decided to import coal from another location and no mining occurred in the watershed of Pond SP-50. 

    In 2016, a decision was made to convert the waste piles left on the area into islands with wetland wildlife enhancement features.  Channels were excavated to separate the waste piles from the banks of the pond, leaving them as islands.  The soils of the waste piles were improved to create suitable plant growth material by liming, fertilizing, and deep aeration. 

    In 2018, TMPA planted grass and woody vegetation and used sprinklers to help the vegetation become established.

    Pond SP-150
    Pond SP-50 Islands

    The project meets and exceeds the intended Post-Mining Land Use as it enhances the Developed Water Resources designation of the pond and provides an additional 12 acres of added environmental value in the form of wetlands and wildlife enhancement areas distributed over four islands

July

  • RRC Helps Mitigate Boating Hazards at National Preserve

    July 24, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas recently completed a project to help the National Park Service (NPS) ensure boater safety at the Big Thicket National Preserve in East Texas.

    The project involved removing surface casings on four wells that had been plugged in the Neches River by operators in the 1970’s and early 80’s. The tall surface casings were starting to get exposed over the decades as river depths changed, posing a risk in recent years to boaters passing through the national preserve.  

    The NPS contacted the RRC to oversee the project which took about two and a half months to complete. Contractors, including divers, worked in the water removing river debris and cutting the casings at the riverbed to get them removed. 

    Diver working on surface casing

    Diver working on surface casing

    Work and removal of surface casings
    Work and removal of surface casings

    Work and removal of surface casings

    “The agency has had more than 40 years of extensive experience working with plugged wells and any issues that may crop up. We’re glad to be able to lend our technical expertise for projects like this to help federal and state agencies when they reach out to us,” Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations.

    This is the second time in two years that the NPS has contacted the RRC for help. The Commission worked on a project at the popular Padre Island National Seashore in 2021.  

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for April 2023

    July 14, 2023

    Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for April 2023 reported in the tables below came from 162,884 oil wells and 87,005 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

     

    TABLE 1 - April 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    108,989,942 BBLS (barrels)

    3,632,998 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    876,531,275 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    29,217,709 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 - April 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    126,278,726 BBLS

    107,196,593 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    960,587,347 mcf

    813,134,206 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 April 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    16,869,300

    2.

    MARTIN

    14,518,859

    3.

    HOWARD

    7,344,407

    4.

    UPTON

    7,328,355

    5.

    LOVING

    5,934,345

    6.

    KARNES

    5,824,509

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,649,049

    8.

    REEVES

    4,267,041

    9.

    REAGAN

    3,844,357

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,771,841


    TABLE 4 – April 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    76,975,609

    2.

    WEBB

    76,941,852

    3.

    MIDLAND

    63,237,725

    4.

    PANOLA

    50,923,886

    5.

    LOVING

    43,288,066

    6.

    MARTIN

    37,911,194

    7.

    CULBERSON

    37,577,047

    8.

    UPTON

    32,545,000

    9.

    HARRISON

    30,099,524

    10.

    REAGAN

    30,014,266

     

     

    TABLE 5 – April 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,660,463

    2.

    LOVING

    4,388,979

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,203,419

    4.

    KARNES

    1,218,667

    5.

    DE WITT

    1,181,991

    6.

    WEBB

    1,095,116

    7.

    DIMMIT

    778,172

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    534,163

    9.

    MCMULLEN

    294,036

    10.

    LA SALLE

    276,552

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for June 2023

    July 07, 2023

    AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 781 original drilling permits in June 2023. The total includes 694 to drill new oil or gas wells, 8 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 70 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in June 2023 is: 166 oil, 58 gas, 501 oil and gas, 38 injection, 1 for service and 17 other permits.

    In June 2023, Commission staff processed 1,046 oil, 249 gas and 451 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

June

  • New State Budget Helps the RRC Continue its Important Work Protecting Texans and the Environment

    June 20, 2023

    AUSTIN – The state budget bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor on Sunday enhances the Railroad Commission’s work in regulating the oil and gas industry and serving Texans.

    The bill provides the agency with approximately $481 million for the next two fiscal years.

    The RRC regulates the major components of the state’s energy industry including oil and gas; surface mining of coal and uranium; the alternative fuels of LNG, CNG, and LPG; intrastate pipelines and natural gas utilities.

    The energy industry is vital to Texas’ economic prosperity and the Legislature’s funding allows the RRC to continue its work in permitting, compliance and enforcement. The RRC consistently meets or exceeds important annual performance goals set by the Legislature that is tied to the agency’s funding. 

    The budget includes new funding to enhance the RRC’s work serving in public safety and environmental protection. Highlights include:

    • Hiring up to 50 new pipeline safety professionals to enhance inspections of thousands of more miles of pipelines in Texas. A new federal law this year provides oversight of additional gathering lines to the RRC. Gathering lines are pipelines that are used to transport oil or natural gas from the production site to a central location. The number of RRC regulated gathering lines has now increased more than seven times to about 45,000 miles.

    • Funding for new staff in the Oil and Gas Environmental Permits and Support Unit. The RRC has seen a significant workload increase over the last year following the enactment of legislation that encourages the recycling of fluid waste for beneficial purposes. Fluid oil and gas waste is waste containing salt, brine, hydraulic fracturing fluid, or other fluids that are the result of drilling for oil or gas. The additional staff would also assist in an anticipated increase in carbon capture permitting applications if the EPA grants the RRC primacy to oversee carbon capture applications.

    • Funding for additional FLIR cameras will increase inspection capabilities in districts. The cameras have been used by the Commission for more than 10 years to detect emissions from wells and other oil and gas facilities during inspections. 

    • Digitization of records funding will help the agency continue its bold transparency initiatives with historical documents at the agency. The RRC was budgeted $1.9 million to create online access to millions more archived documents. Approximately 5 million documents from district offices throughout the state will be imaged so that the public can access the documents online without needing to travel.
  • RRC Commissioners Assess More than $750,000 in Fines

    June 16, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $757,631 in fines involving 172 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Sixteen dockets involved $312,312 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. 
    Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $116,075 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $329,244 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules.
    Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • New Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan Approved for Fiscal Year 2024

    June 14, 2023

    AUSTIN – RRC commissioners have approved the agency’s Oil and Gas Monitoring Plan for Fiscal Year 2024 which continues to build on the agency’s strong record of stewardship of protecting the environment and residents.

    The new plan includes goals to accurately demonstrate the Commission ’s oil and gas monitoring and enforcement activities and to strategically use the oil and gas monitoring and enforcement resources. It focuses on developing a framework to describe the totality of oil and gas monitoring and enforcement efforts, beyond inspections and remediation work the agency does, which would include the extensive work that is done involving technical permit monitoring and administrative compliance enforcement.

    The RRC’s well plugging program, which has exceeded goals set by the Legislature for six straight years, will continue its prioritization system to extend its successful work plugging orphaned oil and gas wells throughout the state with state funds. This fiscal year the RRC utilized federal grants to add to the number of wells that were plugged. The agency has submitted comments on draft federal guidance on another set of grants that could be utilized next fiscal year.

    “Our oil and gas regulatory work is nationally recognized because of our staff’s tireless work and the way we have leveraged technology to improve our efficiency over the years,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “The new plan for next fiscal year keeps building on that as we regulate more than 430,000 wells in the state. Texas is the largest oil and gas producer in the nation, and we will continue to help that economic vitality.”     

    Staff training has been very important for the agency as it regulates a cutting-edge oil and gas industry. Inspectors will continue to receive in-house and external training to learn about the technologies employed in conventional and shale oil and gas field operations.

    Part of the Commission’s most recent goals are to use data from inspections, enforcement, and compliance to improve our information management systems so that they are more user-friendly for operators. That work will continue in the next fiscal year to help efficiency for both RRC staff and oil and gas operators.

    Click here for the Fiscal Year 2024 Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan .

    Click here for the Spanish version of the Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Year 2024

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for March 2023

    June 12, 2023

    Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for March 2023 came from 160,742 oil wells and 87,487 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC. For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

    TABLE 1 - March 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    115,344,551 BBLS (barrels)

    3,720,792 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    896,198,533 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    28,909,630 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

    TABLE 2 - March 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    129,805,808 BBLS

    110,900,350 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    973,728,069 mcf

    829,451,543 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 March 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    17,621,281

    2.

    MARTIN

    15,351,500

    3.

    UPTON

    7,522,876

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,466,551

    5.

    KARNES

    6,656,266

    6.

    LOVING

    6,048,126

    7.

    REEVES

    4,695,457

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,409,026

    9.

    REAGAN

    4,206,134

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,998,045

    TABLE 4 – March 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    84,456,976

    2.

    WEBB

    79,804,842

    3.

    MIDLAND

    65,729,421

    4.

    PANOLA

    49,278,188

    5.

    LOVING

    42,062,778

    6.

    MARTIN

    40,900,419

    7.

    CULBERSON

    36,605,749

    8.

    UPTON

    32,401,064

    9.

    HARRISON

    31,996,851

    10.

    REAGAN

    27,490,206

     

    TABLE 5 – March 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,157,697

    2.

    LOVING

    4,285,966

    3.

    CULBERSON

    2,927,637

    4.

    KARNES

    1,286,109

    5.

    DE WITT

    1,262,336

    6.

    WEBB

    1,090,777

    7.

    DIMMIT

    784,020

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    518,387

    9.

    WARD

    370,290

    10.

    MCMULLEN

    289,560

  • Railroad Commissioners Push Back on Anti-Fossil Fuel Legislation Before Congress

    June 08, 2023

    RRC Chairman Christi Craddick, Commissioner Wayne Christian, and Commissioner Jim Wright each sent letters to Texas Senator John Cornyn and Commerce, Science & Transportation Ranking Member Senator Ted Cruz outlining concerns about S.576, the Railway Safety Act of 2023, and its specific impacts on the energy supply chain in America. They are concerned the legislation grants rulemaking authority to the U.S. Department of Transportation that could detrimentally limit the transport of fossil fuel-based energy products on freight cars.

    “The current federal administration is doing everything it can to limit domestic energy production, and this bill is just the latest effort to shut down the oil and gas industry in America,” said Chairman Christi Craddick. “I urge members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, and members of Congress to implement guardrails in this legislation before it moves forward. Americans are already paying the price for failed energy policies coming from the federal government – we can’t afford to limit our access to clean, responsibly produced energy anymore.”

    “Hijacking the railway safety reform bill is just the latest example of Washington Democrats and radical environmentalists utilizing every tool possible to put an end to fossil fuels and push their expensive and impractical ‘green’ agenda,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “We cannot allow the Biden Administration to succeed in their efforts. There are better ways to improve railroad safety than targeting the transportation of coal, oil, and natural gas which will only increase energy costs for all Americans."

    “American energy independence is only as good as our nation’s ability to move and transport our products to market,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “Unfortunately, this administration has proven itself time and again to be beholden to the radical left who seek to end our domestic oil and gas industry by targeting the transportation of these products, first by pipelines, now by railways. Improving railway safety and ensuring adequate transportation options for U.S. domestic energy production are not mutually exclusive goals. I ask that members of the Senate take additional action to ensure our energy supply chain is not held hostage by those more concerned with appeasing the environmental movement than protecting public safety.”

     

    Copies of each of the Commissioner’s letters to the Committee can be found here:

     

    Letter from Chairman Craddick

     https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/tzqpvxde/rsa2023-letter-craddick.pdf

    Letter from Commissioner Christian

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/wnalc0ya/letter-from-comm-wayne-christian-to-senators-cornyn-and-cruz-on-railway-safety-act.pdf

    Letter from Commissioner Wright

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/fjnojxyj/23-06-05-wright_rrc_letter-to-senators-railway-safety-act.pdf

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for May 2023

    June 02, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 805 original drilling permits in May 2023. The total includes 702 to drill new oil or gas wells, 11 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 85 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in May 2023 is: 172 oil, 59 gas, 535 oil and gas, 27 injection, and 12 other permits.

    In May 2023, Commission staff processed 638 oil, 258 gas and 379 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – May 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    94

    72

    47

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    54

    25

    26

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    9

    8

    7

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    16

    6

    18

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    1

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    21

    6

    53

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    11

    13

    1

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    65

    126

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    362

    239

    37

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    25

    18

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    34

    14

    30

    (10) PANHANDLE

    8

    7

    13

    TOTAL

    702

    535

    233

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

May

  • Coalition of Oil and Gas States Adopts Texas Resolution Regarding Federal Orphan Well Grant Funding

    Taxpayer Funds should be utilized to plug as many orphan wells as possible
    May 25, 2023

    This week, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) approved Resolution 23.053 offered by Texas Railroad Commissioner Jim Wright urging the U.S. Department of the Interior to follow the statutory language passed by Congress with respect to the Federal Orphan Well Plugging Program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    The IOGCC is comprised of more than 30 oil and gas producing states. The IOGCC resolution further endorses action by Congress to ensure states are provided the necessary flexibility and deference to utilize grant funds in accordance with existing state programs for the purpose of plugging and restoring as many orphan wells and well sites as possible.

    “Taxpayer dollars – regardless of their origin – should always be used efficiently and effectively to achieve the desired result. Unfortunately, the Department of the Interior’s draft formula grant guidance fails to adhere to the intent of Congress and would result in fewer wells being plugged than otherwise could be,” said RRC Commissioner Wright. “This resolution, unanimously approved by member states across the political spectrum, reinforces the shared desire for taxpayer funds to be utilized to plug as many orphan wells as possible and asks that the Congressional delegations of IOGCC member states take action to achieve our shared goal of plugging orphan wells.” 

    Earlier this year, the RRC submitted comments on the draft formula grant guidance issued by the Department of the Interior.  The RRC maintains the draft guidance place unnecessary administrative burdens that go beyond the scope of the legislation that authorized the well plugging funds. There’s also concern about a proposed phased approach to releasing formula funds, versus releasing the total amount at once.

  • Texas Energy Regulator Cheers SCOTUS Decision Reversing EPA’s WOTUS Overreach

    May 25, 2023

    Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that rules in favor of landowner by considerably narrowing the authority of the federal government to regulate “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA):

    “The Supreme Court continues to hand losses to President Biden’s EPA, first with an unconstitutional emissions rule and now an attempt to illegally control water and property rights. I applaud SCOTUS for protecting private property rights and the rule of law, reining-in an out-of-control EPA. The battle over WOTUS isn’t over, but this decision is a solid win for individual liberties.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess $3.5 Million in Fines

    May 19, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $3,515,243 in fines involving 283 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Thirty-seven dockets involved $1,204,493 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $1,625,800 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $684,950 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Commissioner Christian Statement on Climate Jobs Projection Report

    May 18, 2023

    The Texas Climate Jobs Project and the Ray Marshall Center at the University of Texas at Austin recently released a report claiming proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules to mitigate methane leaks from oil and gas production could create between 19,000 and 35,000 in Texas. Commissioner Christian has this to say on the report:

    "For my entire life, liberals have believed that breaking things will grow an economy. Just like a shop owner doesn't grow his business by breaking the window to his shop, you don't grow the Texas economy by breaking the oil and gas industry with anti-oil and gas regulations based on unsettled science from environmental alarmists in Washington DC."

    "Imagine the government creates a water moving program where people use buckets to scoop water out of a lake and then dump it back in on the other side 1,000 times. Then the government sends out a press release claiming their program has added 1,000 buckets of water to the lake. That is what these methane rules are like. It is harmful government busy-work that distracts from the real problem, which is energy inflation caused by hostile federal government rules reducing oil and gas production. It is foolish to believe any government law, rule or regulation has created more jobs than it has killed."

  • RRC Commissioners Assess $3.5 Million in Penalties

    May 18, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $3,515,243 in penalties involving 283 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Thirty-seven dockets involved $1,204,493 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $1,625,800 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $684,950 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Christian Slams Biden Administration’s Emission Mandates for Fossil Fuel Power Plants

    May 11, 2023

    AUSTIN – Today, the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new rules for coal and natural gas-fired power plants mandating that they must cut or capture nearly all their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2040. Following the news, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian was critical of the rules and said the following:

    “President Biden’s obsession with ‘net-zero’ is propping up unreliable energy sources that only make our electric grids unstable and leave consumers with higher energy costs,” said Commissioner Christian. “This month the Public Utilities Commission of Texas and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned that the retirement of thermal-based energies is leaving our grids extremely vulnerable to power blackouts, and this decision will only lead to less investment in those sources and less reliable energy on our grids.”

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can  learn more about Commissioner Christian here.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for April 2023

    May 10, 2023

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 607 original drilling permits in April 2023. The total includes 525 to drill new oil or gas wells, 6 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 69 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in April 2023 is: 139 oil, 36 gas, 396 oil and gas, 35 injection, and one other permit.

    In April 2023, Commission staff processed 747 oil, 192 gas and 222 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – APRIL 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    71

    69

    37

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    49

    45

    35

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    10

    11

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    4

    2

    24

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    3

    3

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    24

    2

    14

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    12

    14

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    43

    55

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    257

    395

    52

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    8

    17

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    34

    9

    3

    (10) PANHANDLE

    8

    6

    6

    TOTAL

    525

    628

    176

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for February 2023

    May 09, 2023

    Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for February 2023 came from 160,103 oil wells and 87,153 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.  For full oil and gas production statistics, you can visit the links below.

    Statewide totals: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/

    County rankings: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production-by-county-ranking/

    TABLE 1 - February 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    102,867,009 BBLS (barrels)

    3,673,822 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    760,548,931 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,162,462 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

    TABLE 2 - February 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    113,567,025 BBLS

    99,073,136 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    855,235,057 mcf

    718,315,645 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 February 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    17,154,581

    2.

    MARTIN

    14,679,221

    3.

    HOWARD

    7,400,486

    4.

    UPTON

    7,099,283

    5.

    KARNES

    5,272,952

    6.

    LOVING

    5,093,979

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,076,038

    8.

    ANDREWS

    3,859,108

    9.

    REAGAN

    3,776,743

    10.

    REEVES

    3,408,274

     

    TABLE 4 – February 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    68,318,904

    2.

    WEBB

    59,966,728

    3.

    MIDLAND

    55,920,172

    4.

    PANOLA

    47,685,458

    5.

    LOVING

    35,307,636

    6.

    MARTIN

    34,506,184

    7.

    CULBERSON

    32,101,398

    8.

    HARRISON

    31,893,579

    9.

    UPTON

    28,767,875

    10.

    TARRANT

    21,591,467

     

    TABLE 5 – February 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,118,736

    2.

    LOVING

    3,683,279

    3.

    CULBERSON

    2,414,972

    4.

    DE WITT

    940,721

    5.

    WEBB

    899,731

    6.

    KARNES

    771,616

    7.

    DIMMIT

    613,429

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    358,426

    9.

    MCMULLEN

    269,922

    10.

    WARD

    257,918

April

  • Commissioner Christian Cheers Job Growth in Texas Oil & Gas Industry

    April 28, 2023

    AUSTIN – Oil and gas industry trade associations TXOGA and TIPRO released industry job reports highlighting an increase of 1,500 jobs for March in the upstream sector of Texas’ oil and natural gas industry. Following review of the reports, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded the growth.

    “It’s very encouraging to see this industry job growth at a time when it’s facing headwinds from Wall Street and relentless attacks from the Biden Administration,” said Commissioner Christian. “Texas’ oil and gas industry can help relieve the global energy crisis that’s been brought on by radical environmental policies and geopolitical instability. This growth goes to show that peoples’ need for reliable energy is trumping the rush-to-green movement that has attempted to end fossil fuels, and it’s an upward trend that I hope continues.”

    According to the reports, upstream (exploration and production) jobs increased over the year by 20,000—or 11.2%. Since an industry low point because of COVID in September 2020, upstream employment has grown by a factor of 26 to 4 and has had an average growth of 1,390 jobs per month. Texas oil and gas companies pay some of the highest job wages in the state with an average salary of about $115,000.

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Nearly $900,000 in Fines

    April 27, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $888,323 in fines involving 230 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Twenty-six dockets involved $366,763 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $50,960 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $470,600 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Wayne Christian Presides Over 100th Open Meeting as Railroad Commissioner

    April 25, 2023

    AUSTIN – Today, Commissioner Wayne Christian presided over his 100th Open Meeting of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) since assuming office in January 2017. Christian was first elected to serve as Railroad Commissioner in 2016 and was reelected in 2022. Following the public meeting, Commissioner Christian said the following:

    “It has been an honor to serve nearly 30 million Texans as a steward, defender and promoter of Texas’ vital oil and gas industry that makes our 21st century modern way of life possible,” said Commissioner Christian. “Texas is the nation’s largest producer of oil and gas, and I aim to help keep it that way. American oil and gas production is the answer for affordable energy, a more robust economy, and the pathway to stronger national security.”

    In 2016, Wayne Christian was elected as the 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner. During his first term, America’s oil and gas reserves doubled with the largest discovery in the Permian Basin revitalizing domestic production[1]. In 2018, under the Trump administration, the U.S. became a net exporter for the first time and helped America overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest exporter of oil[2]. And in 2022, the U.S. became the world’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter[3] with about half of those exports being shipped from Texas LNG terminals[4].

    Since assuming office in 2017, Commissioner Christian has ruled on 27,905 agenda items. In that time, the RRC has been commended for its consistent and predictable regulations, quick permitting times, and environmental conservation efforts. The Commission has received numerous awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission. 

    [1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2018/12/21/americas-oil-and-gas-reserves-double-with-massive-new-permian-discovery/?sh=108c21b22c91

    [2] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=40973

    [3] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=53159

    [4] https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2022/sep/energy.php 

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here .

  • RRC at EarthX Conference and Expo

    April 21, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas is participating in this year’s EarthX Conference and Expo in Dallas this weekend to spread awareness of the commission’s extensive work protecting Texas while regulating the state’s oil and gas industry.

    RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian is attending the conference and spoke on a Conservation: A Conservative Perspective panel this afternoon.  

    Commissioner Christian speaks on panel at EarthX Commissioner Christian speaks on panel
    School group at RRC Expo boothSchool group at RRC Expo booth


    “Contrary to popular belief, fossil fuel usage and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive,” said Commissioner Christian. “In the last 100 years, fossil fuels have helped to save human lives from the elements, provided more food to the starving, lifted people out of poverty, and helped enable our modern, technological way of life in the 21st century. With about 3 billion people on this planet needing access to reliable energy, global energy strategies should be about empowering access to fossil fuels not limiting them.”

    For over a century, the RRC has carried out a mission protecting the environment as related to and around energy production. The RRC is taking this opportunity to inform the public about some of the relevant issues and statistics surrounding energy in Texas. 

    The agency has evolved over the decades utilizing state-of-the art technology, inspections, and staff expertise to protect groundwater and the safety of residents in a growing state. The RRC has been nationally recognized for many of its programs including but not limited to orphaned well plugging, abandoned mine land restoration, seismicity monitoring, groundwater protection, and surface mining reclamation.  

    According to the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA), over the last fifty years the six major pollutants regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency have decreased by 78%. That’s during a period the U.S. economy grew 292%, the population grew 62%, and energy use grew by 43%. And according to the AAPCA there’s been a nearly 10% decrease in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from 1999-2019, while total energy production in the U.S. increased by 42%.           

  • RRC’s Pipeline Damage Prevention Page Gets Streamlined to Help Texans Avoid Digging Danger

    April 14, 2023

    AUSTIN- April is Safe Digging Month to remind residents and businesses in our growing state about the importance of calling 811 to prevent dangerous or expensive damage to pipelines and underground utilities when digging.

    After calling 811, line locators have 48 hours to arrive and mark any underground utility lines with flags or paint.  Once marked, excavation work can safely begin.

    The RRC recently streamlined the agency’s Pipeline Damage Prevention web page to make it much easier to find the resources needed to  start any new projects that require digging, and to report any damages to gas pipelines. This page can be beneficial for anyone who is digging in Texas, including homeowners, electricians, landscapers, and plumbers.

    As the chart below shows, telecommunications-related work accounted for the largest portion of damages to struck gas lines that were reported to the RRC in 2022.  

    Top Ten Types of Work Performed 2022

    The chart above shows the types of work that resulted in underground pipeline damages.

    “When we looked at the number of gas pipeline damages reported from 2020 to 2022, the percentage of incidents from telecom work doubled from 12 to 24 percent,” said Karley Bisbano, RRC Manager for Pipeline Damage Prevention. “It may be because of increased telecommunications demand and network expansion around the state. Whatever the project is, we can’t overemphasize the importance of calling 811 to confirm it’s safe before costly repairs or injuries occur.”

    State law requires anyone planning to dig deeper than 16 inches in depth, they must call 811 with a minimum of 48 hours prior to beginning a project so that utilities underground can be properly marked.

    We recommend calling the number even when digging less than 16 inches as a safety precaution.

    Penalties for violating damage prevention rules begin at $1,000 for each offense. If you are not sure whether your project may be in violation of these requirements, it is best to call to have the area assessed before you begin unearthing valuable utility work.

    Location requests can also be filed online at the Texas 811 website at https://www.texas811.org/.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for March 2023

    April 12, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 1,052 original drilling permits in March 2023. The total includes 922 to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 107 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in March 2023 is: 272 oil, 55 gas, 672 oil and gas, 42 injection, one service, and 10 other permits.

    In March 2023, Commission staff processed 1,126 oil, 260 gas and 836 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – MARCH 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    167

    114

    23

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    76

    33

    29

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    16

    9

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    5

    2

    15

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    5

    9

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    29

    8

    35

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    14

    18

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    97

    114

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    434

    612

    112

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    27

    21

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    44

    17

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    8

    1

    11

    TOTAL

    922

    958

    235

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for January 2023

    April 04, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for January 2023 reported in the tables below came from 160,420 oil wells and 84,146 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/ 

    TABLE 1 - January 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION* 

    PRODUCT 

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME 

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION 

    Crude Oil 

    111,616,919 BBLS (barrels)

    3,600,546 BBLS

    Natural Gas 

    845,190,651 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,264,215 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received. 

     

    TABLE 2 - January 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION 

    PRODUCT 

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME 

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME 

    Crude Oil 

    127,301,080 BBLS

    118,056,176 BBLS

    Natural Gas 

    952,423,960 mcf

    871,065,745 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 JANUARY 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION 

    RANK 

    COUNTY 

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS) 

    1.

    MIDLAND

    17,225,140

    2.

    MARTIN

    14,465,568

    3.

    HOWARD

    8,576,506

    4.

    UPTON

    7,685,186

    5.

    KARNES

    6,057,722

    6.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,706,160

    7.

    LOVING

    4,472,355

    8.

    ANDREWS

    4,055,637

    9.

    REAGAN

    4,027,858

    10.

    REEVES

    3,752,535

    TABLE 4 – JANUARY 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION 

    RANK 

    COUNTY 

    TOTAL GAS (MCF) 

    1.

    REEVES

    75,753,312

    2.

    WEBB

    69,722,389

    3.

    MIDLAND

    59,995,352

    4.

    PANOLA

    50,179,079

    5.

    MARTIN

    37,635,820

    6.

    LOVING

    37,464,015

    7.

    HARRISON

    36,565,066

    8.

    CULBERSON

    35,745,605

    9.

    UPTON

    31,379,130

    10.

    REAGAN

    29,699,936

    TABLE 5 – JANUARY 2023 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION 

    RANK 

    COUNTY 

    CONDENSATE (BBLS) 

    1.

    REEVES

    5,873,403

    2.

    LOVING

    4,106,297

    3.

    CULBERSON

    2,647,502

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,080,788

    5.

    WEBB

    911,691

    6.

    KARNES

    723,480

    7.

    DIMMIT

    700,938

    8.

    MCMULLEN

    311,839

    9.

    LA SALLE

    291,966

    10.

    WARD

    276,700

  • RRC Showcases Speedy Work Plugging Orphaned Wells with Federal Funds

    April 03, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas highlighted the agency’s extensive work and expertise in plugging orphaned oil and gas wells during a visit from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in Houston last week.

    When a well ceases production, the majority of operators fulfill their obligations and responsibly plug their wells to prevent leaks and protect the environment. Last year 88% of wells plugged were plugged by operators. The RRC steps in to plug wells when an operator goes out of business, and collects on the operator’s financial assurance and seeks reimbursement through legal proceedings.  

    In October, Texas was the first state in the nation to begin plugging orphaned oil and gas wells using an initial grant from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The RRC has plugged more than 430 wells so far with that federal grant.

    Those well pluggings supplement RRC’s annual well pluggings in the State Managed Plugging Program (SMP). No taxpayer money is used at all for the SMP; all the funding is through oil and gas industry revenue including, but not limited to multiple fees, and bonds and financial security paid by oil and gas operators.

    The next inflow of federal well plugging funds will be through formula grants. RRC submitted comments on draft formula grant guidance recently issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The RRC is concerned the draft requirements place administrative burdens that go beyond the scope of the legislation that authorized the well plugging funds. There’s also concern about a proposed phased approach to releasing formula funds, versus releasing the total amount at once.   

    “Among all oil and gas producing states, we’re a leader in addressing orphan wells, and the Legislature has passed several measures to create incentives to reduce orphan wells in Texas,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “We’ve built great momentum using federal funds to plug wells, and we urged Secretary Haaland to help us keep the momentum. Less than two percent of oil and gas wells in the state are orphaned, and getting the formula funds quickly will help us proceed without unnecessary interruptions.”

    Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations, shows Secretary Deb Haaland and members of Congress an orphaned well scheduled to be plugged in Houston
    Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations, shows Secretary Deb Haaland and members of Congress an orphaned well scheduled to be plugged in Houston

    Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations, shows Secretary Deb Haaland and members of Congress an orphaned well scheduled to be plugged in Houston.

    The RRC anticipates plugging about 800 wells this fiscal year using the initial federal grant, which would be in addition to at least 1,000 well pluggings through the SMP.

    The agency’s comments on the draft formula grant guidance can be found on the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/4ilhvfga/iija-draft-formual-grant_rrc-texas-comments_2_24.pdf

  • Mr. President: America’s Energy Security Isn’t Achieved Overseas—It’s Here at Home

    RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian’s Statement on Saudi Arabia Plans to Cut Oil Production
    April 03, 2023

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding news of Saudi Arabia and other nations’ plans to cut oil production by up to 1.15 million barrels a day, starting in May through the end of the year:

    “First Russia and now Saudi Arabia, President Biden’s reliance on foreign countries for oil is a doomed energy strategy making our energy more expensive and nation less secure. Mr. President, as I said in February, Texas and other states can make up these production cutbacks. Unleash U.S. oil producers and give the industry the support it needs for the sake of all Americans.”

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can  learn more about Chairman Christian here.

March

  • Texas Energy Leader Applauds Passage of Lower Energy Cost Act

    March 31, 2023

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Cost Act that seeks to restore America as the world’s top producer oil and natural gas.  

    Following the 225-204 vote, Commissioner Christian had this to say:

    “America has the ability to be energy independent, producing our own cheap, plentiful and reliable God-given natural resources -- right here at home -- making energy affordable and the nation stronger. 

    “President Biden's war on oil and gas has increased the cost of gasoline by 40% and the cost of electricity by 20%-30%. Biden and Congressional Democrats’ strategy is to run up the national debt and beg our foreign adversaries for help, leaving consumers with more expensive and less reliable energy.

    “The Lower Energy Cost Act includes provisions important to Texas, such as repealing President Biden’s harmful tax on natural gas production and stopping bans on internal combustion engines and gasoline-based cars.”

    Learn more about  the Lower Energy Cost Act here

    # # #

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren.  You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess more than $1 million in Penalties

    March 30, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,029,351 in fines involving 287 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Twenty-two dockets involved $255,601 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $184,300 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $589,450 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for December 2022

    March 09, 2023

    AUSTIN –– Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for December 2022 came from 161,489 oil wells and 87,023 gas wells.

    Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 - December 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    104,363,178 BBLS (barrels)

    3,366,554 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    813,655,568 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    26,246,954 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 - December 2021 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    129,884,145 BBLS

    107,277,204 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    970,409,365 mcf

    747,220,020 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 December 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    16,978,716

    2.

    MARTIN

    13,217,855

    3.

    UPTON

    7,038,078

    4.

    HOWARD

    6,906,697

    5.

    KARNES

    5,953,300

    6.

    LOVING

    4,125,998

    7.

    REEVES

    4,018,281

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    3,752,279

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,407,766

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,381,474

     

    TABLE 4 – December 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    75,609,665

    2.

    WEBB

    65,685,464

    3.

    MIDLAND

    59,736,723

    4.

    PANOLA

    51,758,840

    5.

    LOVING

    35,059,791

    6.

    MARTIN

    33,888,054

    7.

    CULBERSON

    33,856,269

    8.

    HARRISON

    32,990,695

    9.

    UPTON

    30,367,898

    10.

    REAGAN

    26,781,418

     

    TABLE 5 – December 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,505,763

    2.

    LOVING

    3,890,827

    3.

    CULBERSON

    2,567,944

    4.

    DE WITT

    835,468

    5.

    KARNES

    766,945

    6.

    WEBB

    673,394

    7.

    WARD

    415,064

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    389,328

    9.

    LA SALLE

    289,188

    10.

    MCMULLEN

    167,126

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for February 2023

    March 08, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 700 original drilling permits in February 2023. The total includes 620 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 5 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 71 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in February 2023 is: 151 oil, 44 gas, 472 oil and gas, 28 injection, two service, and three other permits.

    In February 2023, Commission staff processed 567 oil, 150 gas and 246 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 – JANUARY 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    72

    59

    25

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    65

    5

    1

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    21

    12

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    7

    4

    2

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    0

    3

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    23

    3

    33

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    8

    8

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    46

    56

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    332

    313

    46

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    16

    8

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    28

    10

    18

    (10) PANHANDLE

    2

    2

    3

    TOTAL

    620

    483

    131

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Approximately $640,000 in Penalties

    March 03, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $639,143 in fines involving 204 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Sixteen dockets involved $153,399 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $40,644 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $445,100 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • RRC Commissioners Vote to Challenge the Validity of EPA Air Emissions Actions

    March 01, 2023

    AUSTIN – At their Feb. 28 open meeting, RRC Commissioners unanimously voted to refer two actions by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to the Texas Attorney General to challenge their validity.

    In 2018 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality submitted the state’s robust Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan (SIP) for National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone – a plan to ensure that emissions within the state would comply with the “good neighbor” provisions of the Clean Air Act and not affect air quality in other states. The EPA disapproved the plan in February 2023, but not before proposing a federal implementation plan (FIP) plan almost a full year prior to disapproving the state plan.

    The RRC is concerned that the EPA was ready to ignore the state’s expertise on regional factors, and circumvented procedures in the Clean Air Action by proposing a federal plan before its final disapproval of the SIP. 

    Not only that, but the proposed FIP also introduces restrictive emissions standards for stationary engines that are used in the pipeline transportation of natural gas. As the state’s oil and gas regulator, the RRC is concerned about how the proposal could hinder a vital industry that contributes significantly to the Texas economy and the state budget. 

    “When the federal government oversteps in the business of Texas, it is our responsibility to push back,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “This federal administration has yet again proven that they do not value the profoundly beneficial impact of the oil and gas industry in Texas, and this vote is the first step for the Railroad Commission of Texas in fighting back against unreasonable and unjust attempts to harm this state.”

    “The Biden Administration is pulling every pseudo-environmental lever they can to shut down oil and gas production – especially in Texas – where it’s cheap, plentiful, and responsibly produced,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “Biden’s EPA first tried it in the Permian Basin last year through non-attainment, with faulty emissions reports, to no success. Now they are trying it through an overreaching, one-size-fits-all approach with their regional haze rule. Contrary to popular belief, fossil fuel usage and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive; in fact, according to the EPA themselves major pollutants are down 78% in the last fifty years alongside increased fossil fuel consumption. I hope the Texas Attorney General will fight this onerous proposal and return the rights back to states and local officials, who know best how to take care of their own land and air.” 

    “There is a disturbing trend emerging from the Biden Administration with respect to blatant federal overreach and repeated attempts to undermine the authority and sovereignty of our state,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “Texas has a long and proud history of protecting our natural resources and our environment and is more than capable of acting in the best interest of our citizens without Washington bureaucrats looking over our shoulder.”

    A copy of the Commission’s order approving referral of these actions to the Texas Attorney General can be found at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/nundcgus/2023_02_28_12_15_53.pdf

February

  • RRC Concerned Texas May Not Be Able to Maximize Federal Funds to Plug Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

    February 27, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas has filed comments on draft guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) for utilizing formula grants to plug orphaned oil and gas wells.

    Several aspects of the draft guidance have caused concern for the RRC because it could hinder the state’s efforts to use as much funding as possible for important work that protects residents and the environment.

    Among the concerns is the fact that the DOI may end up changing formula funding calculations for states, which could mean Texas could get less than the approximately $318 million that was originally due to the state.

    The guidance also has program requirements for states that go beyond the scope of the federal legislation that authorized the well plugging funds. These requirements are burdensome and sometimes unrealistic to implement, which will inevitably hamper the momentum of the state’s plugging efforts resulting in less wells being plugged than could be.

    The comments submitted by the RRC are guided by the agency’s expertise in plugging orphaned oil and gas wells. That expertise was key to Texas’ first in the nation status utilizing federal funds to plug orphaned wells, when work began in October 2022 with the state’s $25 million initial grant.  

    Adding unnecessary requirements to the next phase of federal funding, the formula grants, can hinder the state’s ability to plug as many orphaned oil and gas wells as possible.

    “As Chairman of the Railroad Commission, I believe it is crucial for this agency to thoroughly assess all strings attached to federal money. When dealing with the federal government, we always read the fine print,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “The Commission is responsible for ensuring health and safety standards for all Texans while overseeing responsible stewardship of our state’s abundant natural resources. The Department of Interior’s draft guidelines are extremely concerning and our comments reflect our commitment to prioritizing Texas. Money intended for well plugging efforts should be used for just that – not bureaucratic red tape. Advancing the Biden administration’s political agenda at the expense of Texans is unacceptable, and this agency will continue to push back on all unreasonable regulations put forth by the federal government.”

    “President Biden’s Interior Department needs to stop playing politics with taxpayer dollars and allow Texas and other oil and gas states to get to work plugging more wells and producing much-needed reliable energy,” said RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian. “Texas is not only the national leader in producing oil and natural gas, but is also a leader in plugging abandoned wells, protecting groundwater, and reducing flaring. Taxpayer dollars should ALWAYS be used with the utmost care—Biden’s Interior Department needs to walk back their overreaching guidance which only adds onerous regulations making abandoned well plugging more costly and less timely.”

    “Taxpayer dollars – regardless of their origin – should always be used efficiently and effectively to achieve the desired result,” said RRC Commissioner Jim Wright. “Based on the draft guidance issued by the DOI, it would seem that plugging as many orphan wells as possible is low on the Department’s priority list. The words “innovation” and “federal government” rarely appear in the same sentence. Instead of handcuffing states with top-down, bureaucratic red tape and unrealistic requirements that increase plugging costs, the DOI should seek to empower states like Texas by providing them with the flexibility to achieve our shared mission of reducing the orphan well population.” 

    A copy of the RRC comments sent to DOI can be found on the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/4ilhvfga/iija-draft-formual-grant_rrc-texas-comments_2_24.pdf.

  • Texas Files Comments on Federal Rules That Could Stifle State’s Vital Oil and Gas Industry

    February 14, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas joined the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in filing comments this week on the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed supplemental rule to regulate methane and greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry.

    In the comments, the state expresses concerns that the proposed rule exceeds EPA’s statutory authority under the Clean Air Act and will significantly limit domestic energy supply. At a time of energy fluctuations due to international conflict, the United States cannot afford to clamp down on its most important oil and gas producing state. 

    Texas also commented that the proposal also lays out unrealistic assumptions and artificially high metrics to estimate the climate benefits of the rule, whereas in practice, the rule would place an unjustifiable burden on states and the energy industry for little real benefit to the global climate.

    In addition, the RRC is concerned that EPA did not provide sufficient time for affected stakeholders to review and comment on the extreme breadth of its proposal. The proposed rule was published immediately before the holiday season, on December 6, 2022, amidst several other significant regulatory proposals. Despite receiving numerous requests to extend the comment period, EPA declined to provide additional time. 

    “The EPA’s overreaching methane rules and unrealistic timeline are yet another example of the Biden administration’s attempt to shut down the oil and gas industry in Texas,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “I stand with my fellow Railroad Commissioners and partners at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in opposition to this attack on the industry that provides so much to our state.”

    “President Biden's EPA continues its relentless fight to shut down oil and gas. The EPA’s proposed rule on methane will make reliable energy scarcer and more expensive at a time when we desperately need more of it," said RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian. "From killing the Keystone XL pipeline project, to freezing federal leasing, to supporting ESG, to implementing onerous regulations, Biden is why energy is so expensive. An unburdened and unleashed Texas oil and gas industry is the path to energy security. We only need the administration to get out of the way! If the EPA moves forward, it's imperative that Texas and other states challenge them in the court and those rules get thrown out." 

    “The EPA methane rule is yet another example of the Biden Administration saying one thing and doing another,” said RRC Commissioner Jim Wright.  “In his State of the Union remarks, President Biden placed special emphasis on the need to increase domestic manufacturing, lower utility bills, and create American jobs.  Unfortunately, the EPA’s methane rule will have the opposite effect. Not only does this rule threaten Texas energy production, it does so by disproportionately impacting small and medium producers who live and work in their community, buy supplies, hire locally, and are important contributors to their local economies.”

    The joint comments submitted by the RRC and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can be found at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/hhvontzl/epa-comments_021323.pdf.

  • Mr. President — IGNORE Putin and Unleash Texas

    RRC Commissioner Christian's Statement on Russian Plans to Cut Oil Production
    February 10, 2023

    AUSTIN - Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding news of Russia's plans to cut oil production by about 5% next month, the equivalent of 500,000 barrels per day:

    “As President Biden doubles down on his anti-oil and gas agenda, our enemies overseas smell blood in the water and are using their production as leverage against the West.  We have the natural resources, the technology, and the manpower to be energy independent. We just need the federal government to get out of the way.

    “Mr. President — I commit to you today that if you stop your war against domestic oil and gas production, Texas can make up this 500,000-barrel difference and more. There truly is no downside! You even admitted so in your State of the Union address that we will need more oil for the foreseeable future. Let’s start here at home. We can defend our national security and our European allies, all the while increasing supply, reducing costs, creating jobs, stimulating our economy, and protecting our environment!

    “As former Vice Chair and current member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), I’m confident that Texas is not alone in the promise to increase production. I’m sure that North Dakota, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and others can easily help make up any impact on the oil market that this move by Russia may have on global prices.

     “President Biden, you can save lives by unleashing American producers. Europe is in the midst of an energy crisis with concerns whether people will freeze to death this winter. Furthermore, high energy prices hurt the poorest populations and nations the most, with 80% of the world relying on fossil fuels. Putin’s threat to drive up oil prices will do so much more than hurt the West and continue his brutal war, it will have resounding unintended consequences to the children and the poor in developing nations that struggle just to get by each day.”

    According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Europe is facing an unprecedented energy crisis, as critical natural gas has been cut by more than 80% multiplying electricity costs by 15 times.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for January 2023

    February 09, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 840 original drilling permits in January 2023. The total includes 743 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 6 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 80 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in January 2023 is: 197 oil, 57 gas, 550 oil or gas, 29 injection, and seven other permits.

    In January 2023, Commission staff processed 147 oil, 214 gas and 229 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

     

    TABLE 1 – JANUARY 2023 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL NEW OIL/GAS HOLES

    NEW OIL COMPLETIONS

    NEW GAS COMPLETIONS

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    107

    69

    42

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    51

    54

    24

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    14

    17

    5

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    9

    0

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    6

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    30

    4

    47

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    14

    10

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    59

    61

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    394

    313

    53

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    17

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    38

    11

    12

    (10) PANHANDLE

    7

    3

    5

    TOTAL

    743

    560

    196

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for November 2022

    February 07, 2023

    AUSTIN – Crude Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for November 2022 came from 160,768 oil wells and 70,246 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from December 2021 to November 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 11.2 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://wwwrrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/

    TABLE 1 - NOVEMBER 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume

    Average Daily
    Production     

    Crude Oil

    104,364,728 BBLS (barrels)

    3,478,824 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    776,813,155 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    25,893,772 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 - NOVEMBER 2021 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume         

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume            

    Crude Oil

    126,433,961 BBLS

    109,836,328 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    927,811,890 mcf

    785,335,350 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 – NOVEMBER 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    15,238,397

    2.

    Martin

    14,277,347

    3.

    Howard

    10,198,773

    4.

    Karnes

    6,190,056

    5.

    Upton

    6,028,015

    6.

    Glasscock 

    3,862,400

    7.

    Loving

    3,713,022

    8.

    Reeves

    3,484,316

    9.

    Reagan

    2,984,814

    10.

    Andrews

    2,859,028

     

    TABLE 4 – NOVEMBER 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    74,831,378

    2.

    Webb

    59,178,733

    3.

    Midland

    55,251,060

    4.

    Panola

    50,315,214

    5.

    Martin

    37,916,649

    6.

    Loving

    34,692,075

    7.

    Culberson 

    31,581,390

    8.

    Harrison

    30,747,438

    9.

    Upton

    26,096,749

    10.

    Howard

    24,275,879

     

    TABLE 5 – NOVEMBER 2022 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,431,770

    2.

    Loving

    3,990,425

    3.

    Culberson 

    2,259,970

    4.

    DeWitt

    856,370

    5.

    Karnes

    840,891

    6.

    Webb

    672,714

    7.

    Ward

    363,959

    8.

    Live Oak

    291,774

    9.

    McMullen

    254,767

    10.

    La Salle

    194,866

     

  • Numbers Once Again Show Texas Gas Supply Held Strong During Wintry Weather

    February 06, 2023

    AUSTIN – For the second time this winter, the state’s natural gas supply chain was tested and performed as needed to keep heating and lights on for millions and millions of Texans.

    Winter Storm Mara swept through Midland, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and into San Antonio, covering several gas production basins in the state. The key elements of gas supply – production, pipeline transportation and underground storage – all performed up to par during the arctic blast.

    Texas’ daily onshore gas production, for example, averaged more than 25 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day from January 31 to February 2. As shown in the chart below, that exceeded the daily average seen during Winter Storm Elliott in late December, and the daily production gas production of all last winter.

    Texas Onshore Natural Gas Production Daily Average

    The state’s underground storage facilities had an estimated 392.4 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas as of January 2023. In addition, pipeline operators packed the pipeline system with natural gas ahead of the storm.

    All told, there was more than enough gas to meet the demand during Mara. According to data from S&P Global natural gas demand for residential and commercial heating peaked at 4.23 Bcf and demand for electricity generation peaked at an estimated 6.46 Bcf for power generation, both on January 31.

    The RRC does not regulate the price of natural gas, but it should be noted that there were no unusual spikes in prices with the cash basis market price averaging below $3 per MMBtu at the Waha trading hub in West Texas during Mara. Market data suggests that price actually declined by $0.60 per MMBtu on February 1 indicating strong supply in the region.

    The Commission has been committed to ensuring the delivery of natural gas to protect Texans this winter, and we will continue that work to ensure peace of mind for residents.

  • Wednesday Update: Texas Natural Gas Supply Steady During Winter Storm Mara

    February 01, 2023

    AUSTIN – The state's natural gas supply continues to hold steady to help provide heating to homes and fuel for electricity generation during the ongoing winter storm.

    The RRC is keeping up its round-the-clock contact with operators and other state agencies during Winter Storm Mara. Natural gas utilities are reporting no service issues providing home heating; several have pre-deployed trucks with compressed and liquid natural gas as backups for residential heating but have not needed to utilize them yet.

    Oil and gas operators along the natural gas supply chain, from production to pipelines to underground storage, are maintaining stable operations, and there is adequate natural gas supply in the state.

    The RRC’s Emergency Management Team continues to work with operators and other state agencies to handle requests for assistance given the severe icy conditions gripping different parts of Texas.

    Icy roads are contributing to yet another day of dangerous driving conditions in Texas this week. The RRC urges operators and residents to heed warnings from state and local emergency officials and stay safe. We will continue our work to ensure Texas gets through this week’s winter storm.

January

  • Ample Natural Gas Supply Available During Winter Storm Mara: RRC is Monitoring Round-the-Clock

    January 31, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas’ preparations for Winter Storm Mara began well ahead of time as we began tracking the approaching weather last week; activated the RRC Emergency Management Team on Sunday; and also issued a notice to operators on Sunday on the incoming impact to the state.   

    The agency has been meeting daily for the last three days with gas utilities that serve residences, and held conference calls this morning with those utilities as well as the state’s major oil and gas producers and pipeline operators.

    All facets of the gas supply chain - production, pipeline transportation and underground gas storage - are reporting no major issues. Preliminary estimates from S&P Global indicate daily production of 25 billion cubic feet.  Gas supply remains steady throughout the supply chain.

    The RRC is committed to helping ensure there is adequate gas supply for home heating and power generation to protect millions of Texans during the winter storm.

    We are also working at the State Operations Center, side by side with agencies such as the Public Utility Commission, ERCOT and the Texas Department of Transportation to address any requests for assistance oil and gas operators have.

    Operators are dealing with icy road conditions in several parts of the state that could affect movement of crews and equipment, and the RRC is working directly with state and local partners to address those issues. We want to remind operators and all Texans to be mindful of road conditions and stay safe.

  • RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $630,000 in Penalties

    January 20, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $630,917 in fines involving 161 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Wednesday. The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

    Nine dockets involved $73,667 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings. Master Default Orders can be found on the RRC Hearings Division webpage.

    Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $44,600 for oil and gas, LP-Gas or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $512,650 for violations of the Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention rules. Master Agreed Orders can be found on the RRC General Counsel webpage.

    In the absence of timely motions for rehearing, decisions are final as stated in these final orders.

  • Numbers Show Natural Gas Supply in Texas Held up During Winter Storm Elliott

    January 17, 2023

    The RRC’s commitment to ensure the resilience of natural gas infrastructure during cold weather was tested last month during Winter Storm Elliott with sub-freezing temperatures that lasted several days during the Christmas weekend. The numbers are in and show that there was ample natural gas supply to help the state’s electricity supply chain and keep Texans safe.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration analysis below shows the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) energy mixes for electricity generation in the state for the past year. As the chart reflects, natural gas fired electric generation reached the highest peak for the entirety of 2022 on December 23 during Winter Storm Elliott, surpassing that of the peak days last summer.


    EIA Chart showing highest usage on December 23


    Furthermore, data from S&P Global Platt shows the daily average of Texas onshore natural gas production during Elliott was 24.89 Billion cubic feet (Bcf) which was even more than the daily average from the prior winter.  

    S&P Global Platt shows daily average of Texas onshore natural gas production during Elliott was 24.89 Billion cubic feet (Bcf)
    Data source: S&P Global Platts

    The RRC will continue its diligent work to inspect natural gas facilities supporting the electricity supply chain throughout this winter and ensure infrastructure is hardened against extreme weather conditions.  Just as what was done during Elliott, staff will work around the clock to help ensure Texans’ safety in any upcoming cold weather.

     

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for October 2022

    January 06, 2023

    AUSTIN – Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas for October 2022 came from 161,356 oil wells and 80,281 gas wells.

    The RRC reports that from November 2021 to October 2022, total Texas reported production was 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 11.2 trillion cubic feet of total gas. Crude oil production reported by the RRC is limited to oil produced from oil leases and does not include condensate, which is reported separately by the RRC.

    For additional oil and gas production statistics, including the ranking of each Texas County by crude oil, total gas and condensate production, visit the RRC’s website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/production-data/texas-monthly-oil-gas-production/.

    TABLE 1 (October 2022): Statewide Production*

    Product

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume

    Average Daily
    Production     

    Crude Oil

    110,720,603 bbls (barrels)

    3,571,632 bbls

    Natural Gas

    848,930,463 mcf (thousand cubic feet)  

    27,384,854 mcf

    * These are preliminary figures based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

     

    TABLE 2 (October 2021): Statewide Production

    Product

    Updated Reported Total Volume         

    Updated Average
    Daily Production    

    Preliminary Reported
    Total Volume            

    Preliminary Average
    Daily Production

    Crude Oil

    130,745,004 bbls

    4,217,581 bbls

    112,667,446 bbls

    3,634,434 bbls

    Natural Gas

    955,649,089 mcf

    30,827,390 mcf

    821,516,825 mcf

    26,500,543 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 (October 2022): Texas Top 10 Crude Oil Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Crude Oil (bbls)

    1.

    Midland

    17,324,517

    2.

    Martin

    13,648,363

    3.

    Upton

    7,512,089

    4.

    Howard

    7,116,611

    5.

    Karnes

    7,008,378

    6.

    Loving

    5,971,215

    7.

    Reeves

    4,876,006

    8.

    Glasscock 

    3,885,052

    9.

    Andrews

    3,787,976

    10.

    Reagan

    3,656,367

     

    TABLE 4 (October 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Gas (Gas Well Gas & Casinghead) Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Total Gas (mcf)

    1.

    Reeves

    83,688,348

    2.

    Midland

    61,224,907

    3.

    Webb

    58,311,789

    4.

    Panola

    53,606,436

    5.

    Loving

    42,014,456

    6.

    Martin

    34,263,629

    7.

    Culberson 

    34,131,852

    8.

    Upton

    31,738,242

    9.

    Harrison

    31,623,563

    10.

    Reagan

    28,842,419

     

    TABLE 5 (October 2022): Texas Top 10 Total Condensate Producing Counties Ranked by Preliminary Production

    Rank

    County

    Condensate (bbls)

    1.

    Reeves

    5,973,231

    2.

    Loving

    4,318,884

    3.

    Culberson 

    2,440,760

    4.

    Karnes

    1,248,338

    5.

    DeWitt

    1,111,664

    6.

    Webb

    646,407

    7.

    Live Oak

    468,974

    8.

    Ward

    446,701

    9.

    McMullen

    262,500

    10.

    La Salle

    254,779

     

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for December 2022

    January 05, 2023

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 869 original drilling permits in December 2022 compared to 842 in December 2021. The December 2022 total includes 797 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, four to re-enter plugged wellbores and 45 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in December 2022 is 161 oil, 71 gas, 598 oil or gas, 27 injection and 12 other permits.

    In December 2022, Commission staff processed 815 oil, 167 gas and 231 injection completions for new drills, re-entries and re-completions, compared to 605 oil, 99 gas and 211 injection completions in December 2021.

    Total well completions processed for 2022 for new drills, re-entries and re-completions are 13,415 compared to 9,269 recorded in 2021.

    Detailed data on drilling permits and well completions for the month can be found at this link:

    https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/research-and-statistics/drilling-information/monthly-drilling-completion-and-plugging-summaries/

    TABLE 1 DECEMBER 2022 TEXAS OIL AND GAS NEW DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DISTRICT*

    DISTRICT

    PERMITS TO DRILL
    NEW OIL/GAS HOLES 

    NEW OIL
    COMPLETIONS  

    NEW GAS
    COMPLETIONS   

    (1) SAN ANTONIO AREA

    143

    55

    16

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    47

    40

    7

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    19

    19

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    8

    4

    9

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    3

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS  

    40

    4

    35

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    15

    13

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    87

    109

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    362

    425

    60

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    17

    4

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    43

    31

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    13

    0

    5

    TOTAL

    797

    707

    143

    *A district map is available on the Railroad Commission of Texas website at https://rrc.texas.gov/media/3bkhbut0/districts_color_8x11.pdf.

  • RRC Unveils Interactive Map of Orphaned Wells Being Plugged with the Use of Federal Funding

    January 03, 2023

    AUSTIN – In yet another move to improve transparency, the Railroad Commission has launched an interactive map of ongoing orphan well plugging with the use of federal infrastructure funding.

    The data visualization allows users to choose what they see on the map, including which county to view, the fiscal year, and whether the wells have been plugged or have had a work order issued to be plugged.

    The RRC received a $25 million initial grant to plug abandoned oil and gas wells from the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2022. Texas was the first state in the country to start plugging abandoned oil and gas wells using federal funds with projects in Refugio County in October (video).

    The funds are part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which dedicated the funds to plug abandoned oil and gas wells.

    So far, the agency, which has the critical mission of protecting public safety and environment, has already plugged 128 orphaned wells with the federal funding and plans to plug about 800 abandoned wells by the end of the fiscal year.

    “Thanks to our well-established well plugging program, we were able to hit the ground running to start plugging wells with the federal funds,” said Clay Woodul, RRC Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division for Field Operations. “The data visualization allows anybody with access to the Internet to see our progress plugging wells the federal funds.”

    RRC’s State Managed Plugging Program, which utilizes revenue from industry fees and fines, has exceeded performance measures set by the Texas Legislature for six consecutive fiscal years.

    The RRC may receive up to $318 million in additional formula funding from the federal government to plug orphaned wells. More information and links can be found via the following webpage: https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/environmental-cleanup-programs/federally-funded-well-plugging/.





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