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News

Agency News Items - 2024

May

  • Oil & Gas Regulator: Biden Isn’t Savin’ Lizards, He’s Shutting Down American Oil & Gas

    May 17, 2024

    Today, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) announced it would be listing the Dune Sagebrush Lizard as an endangered species under the Endanger Species Act (ESA). The Biden Administration made this designation, despite years of public and private collaborative efforts protecting the lizard, which have resulted in increased land conservation and rebounding populations.  Following the news, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian said the follow:

    “This doesn’t have a thing to do with ‘saving lizards’; it’s about shutting down U.S. oil and gas production to win political brownie points, which will only increase inflation and jeopardize billions of lives globally,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a lizard, a chicken, a whale, or a unicorn, radical environmentalists won’t be satisfied until we all get out energy from firewood and are living in a cave again. To them, this is about ending fossil fuels to ‘better humanity’, which is ironic given they allow mankind to flourish by powering 80% of the globe’s energy, manufacturing 96% of consumer products, and helping to feed more than half the planet. Right now, the world needs more energy and more Texas oil and gas, and all this does is drive up prices and make it harder on consumers.”

    “Texas will certainly fight this most recent ESA weaponization, which aims to shut down half the nation’s crude oil production and one-third of its natural gas production,” continued Christian. “Texans can rest assured that the RRC and other state agencies won’t lift a finger to help with this nonsense, because the Texas Energy Independence Act prohibits state agencies from facilitating any effort that would undermine Texas oil and gas production.”

    Christian previously sent a letter to USFWS opposing the ESA designation.

                                                                                     ###

    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 Oil and Gas Production Statistics for February 2024

    May 15, 2024

    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 2024 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    109,964,867 BBLS (barrels)

    3,791,892 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    869,159,709 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    29,971,024 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 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    123,573,098 BBLS

    102,867,009 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    901,998,102 mcf

    760,548,931 mcf

    (more)

    TABLE 3 February 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    16,525,363

    2.

    MARTIN

    15,917,090

    3.

    UPTON

    7,116,537

    4.

    HOWARD

    6,838,503

    5.

    LOVING

    6,221,937

    6.

    KARNES

    5,386,113

    7.

    REEVES

    4,397,566

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,374,675

    9.

    REAGAN

    3,846,799

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,582,389

    TABLE 4 – February 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    WEBB

    75,521,497

    2.

    REEVES

    73,968,114

    3.

    MIDLAND

    65,414,248

    4.

    PANOLA

    44,414,691

    5.

    MARTIN

    42,062,144

    6.

    LOVING

    38,961,196

    7.

    CULBERSON

    36,609,871

    8.

    HARRISON

    32,733,596

    9.

    UPTON

    31,724,749

    10.

    LA SALLE

    25,523,517

     

    TABLE 5 – February 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,115,619

    2.

    LOVING

    4,119,967

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,292,616

    4.

    WEBB

    1,202,648

    5.

    KARNES

    1,133,306

    6.

    DE WITT

    1,125,703

    7.

    DIMMIT

    790,372

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    597,825

    9.

    WARD

    425,792

    10.

    LA SALLE

    333,445

     

     

    ###

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $1 Million in Penalties

    May 14, 2024

    AUSTIN - The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1, 279,179 in fines involving 441 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.

    Master default orders for operators that failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings can be found on the RRC Hearings Division web page.

    Master Agreed Orders in which operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules can be found on the RRC General Council web page.  

    Below is a table outlining the fines assessed.

                                                                                    Fine Amounts

    Fines Assessed from Master Default Orders

     

    $187,129.00

    Fines Assessed from Master Agreed Orders

     

    $1, 136,140.00

    Total Fines Assessed at April 2024 Conference

    $1, 279,179.00

     

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

     

     

  • Texas Set to Challenge a Second Detrimental EPA Rule in 2024

    May 14, 2024

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas commissioners voted today to refer a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas emissions rule to the Office of the Attorney General to file a lawsuit to challenge the rule in federal court.

    The EPA rule adds regulations to existing and future electricity power plants fueled by coal and natural gas to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. However, the rule imposes strict but untested standards in what will likely result in unreasonable infrastructure costs, which could force coal plants to shut down and reduce the ability of natural gas-fired power plant to operate at full capacity.

    That can have the detrimental effect of reducing electricity supply in Texas. The reliability of the electricity grid is of utmost importance in a state that continues to benefit from population and business growth, and a reliable grid is also needed to protect Texans during summer and winter weather fluctuations.

    This is the second EPA rule that RRC commissioners have referred to the Attorney General to challenge this year. Two months ago, Texas challenged the EPA’s Methane Rule.

    “In yet another baseless attack on the oil and gas industry, the Biden administration has proven their willingness to jeopardize the health and safety of Texans in the name of their ill-planned agenda,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “I appreciate the hard work of agency staff and look forward to the Attorney General’s action against this rule to protect Texas.”

    “President Biden is hellbent on making American’s energy more expensive and less reliable just to virtue signal to his radical environmentalist friends and his globalist allies,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “These rules are an EPA ultimatum to fossil fuel-based power producers: eliminate CO2 or we’ll eliminate you. If Biden’s successful with his ‘Unreliable Power Plan,’ it will only mean more taxpayer-subsidized wind and solar energy, less dispatchable power for U.S. energy grids, and potential blackouts across the country. I hope Attorney General Paxton is successful in overturning this horrible rule.”

    “This rule is but another example of the Biden Administration’s concerted effort to limit energy production at the expense of the American consumers.” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “This latest action by the EPA will not only make our electrical grid less reliable, but it will result in higher energy costs for American households. The only thing “green” about this rule will be the money flying out of middle-class pockets to pay their electricity bill if it isn’t overturned.”

    The RRC and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had filed comments opposing the rule when it was first drafted. Those comments can be found at this link https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/cxxps5re/epa-comments-081423.pdf

  • Christian Cheers Lawsuit Over Biden’s Unreliable Power Plan

    May 10, 2024

    Following reports that 27 states’ Attorney Generals filed lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over their new rules for fossil fuel-based power plants dictating carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded the news and said the following:

    “President Biden is hellbent on making American’s energy more expensive and less reliable just to virtue signal to his radical environmentalist friends and his globalist allies,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “These rules are an EPA ultimatum to fossil fuel-based power producers: eliminate CO2 or we’ll eliminate you. If Biden’s successful with his ‘Unreliable Power Plan,’ it’ll only mean more taxpayer-subsidized wind and solar energy, less dispatchable power for US energy grids and potential blackouts across the country. Here in Texas, ERCOT already issued their first power warning based on temperatures and its only May. I applaud General Paxton and the other states on this legal challenge and pray they’re successful in overturning this horrible rule."

    ###

    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 April 2024

    May 03, 2024

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 814 original drilling permits in April 2024. The total includes 730 to drill new oil or gas wells, 13 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 64 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in April 2024 is: 196 oil, 38 gas, 510 oil and gas, 46 injection, two service and 22 other permits.

    In April 2024, Commission staff processed 966 oil, 231 gas and 354 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 2024 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

    111

    105

    28

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    50

     54

    36

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    11

    17

    2

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    5

    0

    1

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    3

    2

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    22

    7

    41

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    16

    8

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    57

    136

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    387

    497

    102

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    24

    17

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    36

    19

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    8

    1

    4

    TOTAL

    730

    863

    219

     

    # # #

  • Christian Blasts Biden’s LNG Attack at House Committee Hearing

    May 02, 2024

    Today, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian testified before the House Select Committee on Protecting Texas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Exports.

    Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced it was pausing approval for pending and future applications to export LNG. Texas ships out about half of the nation’s LNG. In 2023, Texas increased its LNG exports to Europe substantially, reaching a record-high of 8.1 billion cubic feet per day in October 2023.

    “Throughout his time in office, President Biden has unnecessarily put the United States and our allies at a severe geopolitical disadvantage just for the sake of virtue signaling that he is progressive on climate change,” said Commissioner Christian. “His pause on LNG exports is nothing more than election year politics at its worst because it will do nothing to reduce emissions, while making energy more expensive and less accessible for our allies in their time of need.” 

    “Since taking office, the Biden administration has used every attack possible to destroy Texas oil and gas from EPA nonattainment threats to Endangered Species Act designations, adding red tape and creating new taxes, and flooding the market with billions of taxpayer dollars for more wind and solar,” continued Christian. “Texas LNG is the hope for the free world. At today’s hearing, Texas leaders sent a clear message that we will continue to fight this ‘keep-it-in-the-ground’ agenda, because providing life-saving reliable energy to the world is our responsibility.”

    In January, Christian sent a letter to President Biden urging him not to move forward with the pause on new LNG projects. Then in February, he applauded House Republicans for passing H.R. 7176, which could overturn Biden’s actions on LNG.

    Commissioner Christian testifying before the House Select Committee on Protecting Texas LNG Exports at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, TX. 
    Commissioner Christian testifying before the House Select Committee on Protecting Texas LNG Exports at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, TX.

    Commissioner Christian testifying before the House Select Committee on Protecting Texas LNG Exports at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, TX.

     

    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.

April

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $2 Million in Penalties

    April 24, 2024

    The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $2,456,002 in fines involving 711 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.

    Master default orders for operators that failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings can be found on the RRC Hearings Division web page.

    Master Agreed Orders in which operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules can be found on the RRC General Council web page.  

    Below is a table outlining the fines assessed.

     

     

    Fine Amounts

    Fines Assessed from Master Default Orders

     

    $371,569.50

    Fines Assessed from Master Agreed Orders

     

    $2,084,433.00

    Total Fines Assessed at March 2024 Conference

    $2,456,002.50

     

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

  • Christian Pens Letter to Legislative Leaders Concerning Eco-Terrorism Materials Taught in Colleges

    April 24, 2024

    Following a Washington Times report about “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” being taught at universities in various states, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian sent a letter to Senator Brandon Creighton and Representative John Kuempel, higher education committees chairs in the Texas Legislature, highlighting concerns of radical environmentalists’ materials being taught in universities and colleges. The Commissioner said the following about the issue:

    “Safeguarding America’s energy infrastructure is paramount, and we cannot overlook the looming threat of eco-terrorism aimed at pipelines, refineries, and processing plants,” said Christian. “The teaching of ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’ in colleges is deeply troubling. We must prevent radical agendas from indoctrinating future generations with anti-American propaganda with our tax dollars. I want to encourage the legislature to look into whether any Texas universities or colleges are teaching ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’ or other related eco-terrorism-based materials.”

     

    You can read the letter here.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Hit Record Highs in 2023

    April 09, 2024

    AUSTIN – The state’s major energy industry reached new peaks last year with records set for both oil and gas production.

    The Railroad Commission regulates the Texas oil and gas industry and tallies production reports submitted by operators.   

    • Oil production hit a record 1.92 billion barrels in 2023, which was 51 million barrels more than the previous record.
    • Operators produced 12.01 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2023, beating the previous record by more than 13%.

    “These production records are beyond impressive and reflect how Texas continues to provide reliable domestic production for the nation,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “As the state’s oil and gas regulator, the RRC is committed to our critical mission supporting Texas’ economic growth that benefits Texans. Production taxes collected from the oil and gas industry pay for our schools, highways and the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The Commission will continue its hard work to ensure the state remains at the forefront of the energy sector.”

    Top 5 Oil Production Years (crude oil and condensate)

    Year

    Production

    2023

    1.92 billion barrels 

    2019

    1.86 billion barrels

    2020

    1.77 billion barrels

    2021

    1.75 billion barrels

    2022

    1.71 billion barrels

     

    Top 5 Gas Production Years (gas well and casinghead gas)

    Year

    Production

    2023

    12.01 trillion cubic feet

    2021

    10.61 trillion cubic feet

    2022

    10.51 trillion cubic feet

    2020

    10.23 trillion cubic feet

    2019

    10.21 trillion cubic feet

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for March 2024

    April 02, 2024

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 709 original drilling permits in March 2024. The total includes 644 to drill new oil or gas wells, 22 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 39 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in March 2024 is: 142 oil, 45 gas, 482 oil and gas, 32 injection, four service and four other permits.

    In March 2024, Commission staff processed 786 oil, 202 gas and 443 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 2024 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

    79

    66

    35

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    67

    28

    25

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    7

    10

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    15

    1

    3

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    6

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    24

    9

    37

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    12

    5

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    61

    68

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    330

    473

    76

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    20

    12

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    18

    13

    3

    (10) PANHANDLE

    5

    3

    0

    TOTAL

    644

    689

    183

     

    # # #

     

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for January 2024

    April 01, 2024

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for January 2024 reported in the tables below came from 161,408 oil wells and 84,725 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 - January 2024 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    111,122,407 BBLS (barrels)

    3,584,594 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    857,816,970 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,671,515 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 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    137,802,952 BBLS

    111,616,919 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    996,694,297 mcf

    845,190,651 mcf

     

    TABLE 3 January 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MIDLAND

    16,722,501

    2.

    MARTIN

    16,321,954

    3.

    UPTON

    7,768,425

    4.

    LOVING

    5,925,259

    5.

    HOWARD

    5,865,666

    6.

    KARNES

    5,480,959

    7.

    REEVES

    4,333,458

    8.

    REAGAN

    4,197,022

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,798,863

    10.

    GLASSCOCK

    3,760,259

    TABLE 4 – January 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL GAS (GAS WELL GAS & CASINGHEAD) PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    WEBB

    81,961,927

    2.

    REEVES

    77,092,605

    3.

    MIDLAND

    65,488,730

    4.

    PANOLA

    49,626,433

    5.

    MARTIN

    43,121,969

    6.

    CULBERSON

    37,027,422

    7.

    HARRISON

    36,258,606

    8.

    LOVING

    36,184,819

    9.

    UPTON

    31,633,466

    10.

    REAGAN

    26,397,432

     

    TABLE 5 – January 2024 TEXAS TOP TEN TOTAL CONDENSATE PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    5,961,451

    2.

    LOVING

    3,953,443

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,406,807

    4.

    WEBB

    1,172,861

    5.

    DE WITT

    1,139,694

    6.

    KARNES

    1,122,092

    7.

    DIMMIT

    766,431

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    579,460

    9.

    WARD

    391,333

    10.

    LA SALLE

    279,933

    ###

March

  • Preparations Helped Oil and Gas Industry Get Through Dangerous Wildfires

    March 20, 2024

    There was good news this week when the Texas Forest Service announced dangerous wildfires in the Panhandle were finally 100% contained thanks to the tireless efforts of state and local emergency crews.

    During the precarious situation the Railroad Commission and operators worked to ensure community safety, and to also ensure there were no major disruptions in oil and gas production.

    Many operators in the Panhandle take precautions ahead of time to protect oil and gas leases from fire threats. That diligence includes mowing grass and treating weeds to keep fuels for fires off leases and well pads. The aerial picture below is a great depiction of how that type of careful maintenance worked at a lease in Carson County, where grassland around a well site burned but the fires did not affect the well in the middle of the picture.

    Gas Well in Carson County, Texas Panhandle

    Gas Well in Carson County, Texas Panhandle

    RRC safety officers also joined the state’s coordinated response to the wildfires, manning the State Operations Center to be in direct contact with other emergency responders while maintaining communications with regulated entities in the Panhandle including gas utilities.

    After releasing a public statement about our work on Feb. 28, the RRC also sent a notice to operators during the wildfire threat advising them of precautions they could take. 

    The dangerous wildfires were the most recent example of how the RRC, in any given emergency, will act early and work with operators to protect the public and the environment, and minimize potential disruptions to production.  

  • RRC Commissioners Assess Over $3 Million in Penalties

    March 19, 2024

    The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $3,141,077 in fines involving 775 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.

    Ninety-one dockets involved $1,217,351.30 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 $367,026 for any oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $1,556,700.00 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 & Gas Commissioner Applauds State Board of Education’s Cancellation of BlackRock’s $8.5 Billion Contract

    March 19, 2024

    Following news that the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) and Chairman Aaron Kinsey would terminate an $8.5 billion contract with BlackRock, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian applauded the SBOE’s decision, which protects Texas' Permanent School Fund and classrooms across the state, and said the following:

    “Texas state leadership continues to land blows to BlackRock and woke financial corporations pushing a pro-ESG/anti-fossil fuel agenda!” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “Our great state should NOT be doing business with a financial institution that wants to end oil and gas, brainwash kids to hate fossil fuels, and jeopardize our energy freedom. As the 9th largest economy in the world with businesses regularly relocating headquarters to the Lone Star State, I’d suggest to BlackRock and other woke Wall Street firms to wake up and realize that fossil fuels aren’t the enemy that radical environmentalists have portrayed them to be. I want to give kudos to Chairman Kinsey, Tom Maynard, Julie Pickren and the other SBOE board members, who continue to defend the values and resources that make Texas, ‘Texas’.”

    In November 2024, Commissioner Christian encouraged and celebrated SBOE’s rejection of anti-oil and gas school materials and promotion of oil and gas’ benefits. 

                                                                         ###

     

    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 Challenges Controversial Federal Methane Rule

    March 08, 2024

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Methane Rule in the Federal Register today; and Texas is challenging this rule which is detrimental to an industry that is not only vital to the state’s economy but has also made great strides in emissions reduction.

    RRC Commissioners voted in late January to refer the Methane Rule to the Office of the Attorney General to file a lawsuit against it; the Attorney General filed the lawsuit today.

    The Commission has previously identified several concerns that were elaborated in comments it submitted in conjunction with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    Texas leads the nation as the highest producer of both oil and natural gas, bringing thousands of jobs and economic prosperity to our great state. Reducing the production of domestic oil and gas will only force the U.S. to usher in foreign imports of these essential resources – imports from countries that do not produce a level of cleaner energy that Texas has been able to.

    The RRC has taken many measures in the past few years providing incentives for emission reduction technology. The RRC established a blue-ribbon taskforce to address flaring in the state. The Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition has noted that the Permian Basin in Texas reduced methane emissions by more than 76 percent from 2011 to 2021, while production increased more than 345 percent during the same time frame. Texas has also seen a steady decrease in gas flared; the amount of gas flared is now less than 1% of the amount of gas produced - one of the lowest rates in the country.

    Technology and innovation work, not arbitrary and ill-advised regulation, is how emissions reduction can be achieved.

    “Texas is taking action against the federal government’s egregious overreach,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “The latest attack on oil and gas is nothing more than an attempt to shut down the industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, funds 1/3 of our state’s economy, and produces clean and reliable energy for the world. I appreciate the Office of the Attorney General for filing suit against the EPA’s methane rule and look forward to protecting our state’s jobs and economy by providing reasonable and consistent regulation to the oil and gas industry.”

    "The real victim of President Biden’s methane rule isn’t Big Oil, it will be the small oil and gas producers, who do most of the nation’s oil exploration and produce more than 83% of oil and 90% of natural gas,” said RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian. “This methane rule will target 50% of U.S. marginal wells and likely 70% of Texas' marginal wells. Keeping these wells in production not only reduces waste and the state’s plugging liability but also provides funding for our schools, protects the stability of our electricity grid, and puts food on the table for thousands of Texans.”

    “I applaud the Office of Attorney General for moving forward against the Biden Administration’s harmful methane rule,” said RRC Commissioner Jim Wright. “This rule is yet another attempt to harm domestic oil and gas production by forcing small, independent operators, who are the backbone of the industry and the communities they represent, out of business.” 

    The RRC will continue to place the safety of Texans and the protection of the environment as its highest priority, while leading the country in vital oil and gas production.

    A copy of the lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General can be found here.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for February 2024

    March 06, 2024

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 722 original drilling permits in February 2024. The total includes 652 to drill new oil or gas wells, 15 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 52 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in February 2024 is: 154 oil, 42 gas, 463 oil and gas, 45 injection, and 18 other permits.

    In February 2024, Commission staff processed 667 oil, 151 gas and 317 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 – February 2024 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

    98

    83

    20

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    88

    30

    21

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    12

    3

    4

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    12

    2

    7

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    0

    1

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    21

    9

    11

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    12

    7

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    42

    77

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    323

    355

    68

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    21

    14

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    19

    21

    4

    (10) PANHANDLE

    4

    4

    4

    TOTAL

    652

    606

    139

     

    # # #

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for December 2023

    March 01, 2024

    AUSTIN –– Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for December 2023 reported in the tables below came from 162,725 oil wells and 86,164 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 - December 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    110,727,499 BBLS (barrels)

    3,571,855 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    847,732,706 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    27,346,216 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 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    134,959,762 BBLS

    104,363,178 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    981,638,738 mcf

    813,655,568 mcf

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MARTIN

    16,553,768

    2.

    MIDLAND

    16,473,470

    3.

    HOWARD

    7,466,556

    4.

    UPTON

    6,873,053

    5.

    KARNES

    5,997,097

    6.

    LOVING

    4,650,444

    7.

    REAGAN

    4,108,931

    8.

    GLASSCOCK

    3,918,763

    9.

    REEVES

    3,835,537

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,321,373


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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    79,245,374

    2.

    MIDLAND

    65,312,124

    3.

    WEBB

    63,681,751

    4.

    PANOLA

    52,230,296

    5.

    MARTIN

    43,699,430

    6.

    HARRISON

    38,037,998

    7.

    CULBERSON

    36,460,608

    8.

    LOVING

    34,248,116

    9.

    UPTON

    28,318,521

    10.

    HOWARD

    26,780,286

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,402,163

    2.

    LOVING

    3,847,302

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,641,108

    4.

    WEBB

    1,204,804

    5.

    KARNES

    1,191,476

    6.

    DE WITT

    1,150,700

    7.

    DIMMIT

    690,427

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    416,525

    9.

    WARD

    359,647

    10.

    LA SALLE

    299,957

                                                                                                   ###

February

  • Railroad Commission Responds to Dangerous Wildfires

    February 28, 2024

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission has activated its team for the State Operations Center (SOC) during the ongoing wildfires in the Texas Panhandle.

    As is the case during any emergency, the RRC is ready to respond quickly to ensure the safety of communities and the environment. RRC staff is in direct contact with other emergency responders at the SOC and will continue to do so until the wildfire threats abate.

    The Railroad Commission is also maintaining communications with regulated entities in the Panhandle including gas utilities. And the agency is in contact with district office staff who may be impacted in the region.


    RRC Asst. Executive Director Randall Collins and Safety Officer Chance Karshens at the SOC

    RRC Asst. Executive Director Randall Collins and Safety Officer Chance Karshens at the SOC

  • Texas Oil & Gas Regulator Supports House Republican Vote to Repeal Biden’s LNG Export Ban

    February 15, 2024

    In January 2024, the Biden Administration announced a pause on permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects. In response to this pause, it was announced that the U.S. House of Representatives would be voting on H.R. 7176, the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act (Rep. Pflueger, TX-11), which would repeal the Biden Administration’s ban on new LNG export projects. Following the news, Texas Railroad Commission Wayne Christian said the following:

    “U.S. LNG is life-saving energy to our allies, and I don’t know about the president, but I’d much rather have the world buying American natural gas over foreign or hostile nations,” said Commissioner Christian. “President Joe Biden’s politically motivated pause on new LNG export projects hurts consumers, Texans’ jobs, slows the U.S. economy, makes energy more expensive, and jeopardizes the lives our foreign allies.”

    “H.R. 7176 will put pressure on the Biden Administration to remove their political and unnecessary blockade on LNG export projects which are vital to Texas, America, and the world. It’s a great bill, and I applaud Rep. Pfluger and House Republicans for fighting back,” continued Christian. “If America cuts off LNG shipments, it will allow China, Iran, and Russia’s influence to grow. Our nation should be THE global energy leader – not through unreliable and heavily subsidized “green” energy – but through the responsible production and export of oil and gas.”

    To read the letter click here.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for January 2024

    February 05, 2024

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 799 original drilling permits in January 2024. The total includes 748 to drill new oil or gas wells, 10 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 39 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in January 2024 is: 135 oil, 36 gas, 558 oil and gas, 49 injection, and 21 other permits.

    In January 2024, Commission staff processed 770 oil, 216 gas and 319 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 2024  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

    95

    86

    34

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    55

    50

    25

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    6

    19

    14

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    15

    2

    6

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    9

    2

    0

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    26

    8

    24

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    14

    14

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    103

    98

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    381

    363

    82

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    18

    14

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    19

    30

    5

    (10) PANHANDLE

    7

    1

    2

    TOTAL

    748

    687

    192

     

    # # #

  • RRC Commissioners Assess $2 million in Penalties

    February 02, 2024

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,956,012 in fines involving 616 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-four dockets involved $406,262 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 $155,900 for oil and gas, LP-Gas, critical infrastructure, or pipeline safety rule violations. Pipeline operators and excavators were assessed $1,393,850 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 Steps In to Plug Wells Along the Texas Coast

    February 01, 2024

    AUSTIN - The Railroad Commission’s well plugging program will utilize its expertise to plug hard to reach orphaned wells located along the Coastal Bend of Texas in Baffin Bay, Humble Channel and Pita Island.

    The RRC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Land Office (GLO) in which GLO will provide $3 million to help plug 10 wells. The RRC will utilize marsh buggies and any other specialized equipment needed to reach and plug the wells. 

    Coastal Bend area
    Coastal Bend area where wells are located

    This latest project is yet another example of how the RRC uses its award-winning plugging program to assist other agencies. In the past several years, the Commission has plugged a well for the GLO in the Bolivar Peninsula; helped the National Park Service by removing hazardous casing from previously plugged wells at the Big Thicket National Preserved in East Texas; and plugged wells at another popular national park, Padre Island National Seashore, in 2021.

    “This year marks the 40-year anniversary of the RRC's nationally recognized State Managed Plugging Program," said RRC Executive Director Wei Wang. “We have plugged more than 45,000 wells during that time, and our extensive experience gives us the expertise that other agencies can rely on. The RRC is always willing to help in the important mission of protecting communities and the environment around our great state."

    The RRC also exceeds high performance standards for well plugging set by the Texas Legislature. The agency has plugged more wells than the annual legislative goals for seven straight years.

January

  • RRC Successfully Plugs Uncontrolled Water Flow in Crane County

    January 31, 2024

    AUSTIN- This week marked the end of an extensive project in the Railroad Commission’s efforts to protect environmental and public safety.

    On Monday, the RRC completed plugging a well that had an uncontrolled water flow in Crane County that began in December.

    Inspectors in West Texas were dispatched within hours of the water flow being reported, and construction almost immediately began on lined pits and berms to contain the flow and protect any threat to freshwater.

    The water flow stopped on January 21. The well is now cased and cemented and freshwater zones are protected.

    The agency has done extensive research, and the well is not on any RRC records, indicating no evidence that this is an oil and gas well. Water sampling further suggests this may not have been an oil and gas well.

    The water sample had high salt content, which would not be surprising given the fact that the site is over the Salado Formation which is a salt formation.  

    Although there is no evidence to suggest that this is an orphan oil and gas well, the RRC acted quickly to remediate the water flow in Crane County because the RRC will make every effort possible to protect freshwater in Texas.

    We are continuing to investigate the historical geological features in the area and working with entities such as the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology for potential assistance in understanding historical geology.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for November 2023

    January 30, 2024

    Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for November 2023 reported in the tables below came from 162,789 oil wells and 86,491 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 - November 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    103,432,924 BBLS (barrels)

    3,447,764 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    859,711,071 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    28,657,036 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 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    133,459,476 BBLS

    104,364,728 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    963,094,475 mcf

    776,813,155 mcf

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MARTIN

    16,357,645

    2.

    MIDLAND

    15,583,934

    3.

    HOWARD

    6,214,946

    4.

    UPTON

    5,799,258

    5.

    KARNES

    5,622,802

    6.

    LOVING

    4,433,694

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,047,901

    8.

    REAGAN

    3,604,967

    9.

    REEVES

    3,143,556

    10.

    ANDREWS

    3,069,819

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    WEBB

    77,226,919

    2.

    REEVES

    73,027,225

    3.

    MIDLAND

    56,900,621

    4.

    PANOLA

    51,196,972

    5.

    MARTIN

    41,072,124

    6.

    CULBERSON

    34,707,788

    7.

    HARRISON

    33,941,541

    8.

    LOVING

    33,100,693

    9.

    UPTON

    25,232,858

    10.

    REAGAN

    25,008,615

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,193,630

    2.

    LOVING

    3,844,042

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,511,987

    4.

    DE WITT

    1,270,047

    5.

    KARNES

    1,105,951

    6.

    WEBB

    1,081,708

    7.

    DIMMIT

    637,033

    8.

    LIVE OAK

    453,424

    9.

    WARD

    347,021

    10.

    LA SALLE

    291,237

     

  • Christian: Biden’s LNG Policies Leave Americans with Higher Costs & Our European Allies in a Deadly Situation

    January 26, 2024

    Following news that the Biden Administration would effectively pause new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian said the following: 

    “Texas natural gas is saving the free world, and President Biden wants to end it. His administration’s pause on new liquified natural gas export (LNG) plants may recklessly endanger European lives, many of whom are facing a harsh winter with less access to life-saving energy,” said Commissioner Christian. “Europe came to rely on unreliable wind/solar energy too much. Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the destruction of the Nord stream pipeline, and Europe’s justified ban on Russian gas, many European nations scrambled to provide reliable energy to save their citizens through importing LNG, burning wood, and reclassifying natural gas as a “green” energy source. But American LNG stepped up for our allies in their hour of need, with 20% of our LNG exports going to Europe. But this new pause could put those European citizens right back winter’s deadly, cold grip this season.”

    Christian continued, “This move by the Biden Administration is just the latest in a long line of actions to dismantle American oil and gas production and does NOT eliminate emissions. It simply exports them to dirtier and more hostile producers overseas. President Biden will always choose his climate catastrophist friends over increasing fossil fuel production to lower energy costs—for Americans and our allies.

    Anti-energy policies by the Biden Administration and the woke left will decrease human flourishing and lead to death. Our energy strategy should be benefiting mankind by increasing production of our domestic fossil fuels and exporting that reliable energy.”

     

    Background:

    Previously, Commissioner Christan sent a letter to President Biden urging him not to move forward with the pause on new LNG project.



    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 Oil & Gas Commissioner Slams Biden Administration’s Pending Decision to Cap US LNG Exports

    January 24, 2024

    Austin – Recent media reports revealed that the Biden Administration is considering a pause on permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects. Following the news, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm criticizing the potential action and encouraging them to grow LNG exports to support America’s allies abroad.  

    “America becoming energy dominant again – like in 2019 – is the key to restoring global order, and that starts with a strong LNG export industry,” said Commissioner Christian. “I don’t know about President Biden, but I’d much rather have the world buy America’s clean natural gas over gas anywhere else. LNG can be a beacon of hope, where many countries no longer produce their own fossil fuels due to the Net Zero agenda. Our energy strategy should be to increase production of our domestic fossil fuels and export that reliable energy to our allies across the globe.”

     

    Read the letter here.

  • RRC Issues Notice to Operators Ahead of Harsh Winter Temperatures

    January 11, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

  • RRC Rolls Out Regulatory Framework for Produced Water Recycling Pilot Studies

    January 10, 2024

    The Railroad Commission has issued a framework for pilot programs that could greatly enhance environmental protection in Texas with the potential to recycle produced water safely and economically.

    Produced water is a byproduct of what comes to the surface during oil and gas production, and the produced water recycling framework will provide a regulatory pathway for operators to assess the effectiveness and the suitability of applying treated produced water for beneficial purposes. 

    Operators will apply for authorization to conduct pilot studies, and RRC will issue a permit or letter of authorization if the application meets requirements. The operators would compile data of how treated produced water can be reused in certain activities that are safe and protective of human health and the environment.

    Ultimately, the potential exists to reduce the amount of produced water that gets injected back into the ground, which can help reduce incidents of seismicity, as well as developing a potential water source for above ground use. 

    “This is another example of how we stay at the forefront of our critical mission of protecting public safety and the environment while we regulate an industry that is crucial to the state’s economy,” said Wei Wang, RRC Executive Director. “This framework opens up the potential to use treated produced water in ways that have never been seen before in Texas, which is a win-win for conserving water resources, and protecting the environment and Texans.”  

    The Commission will focus attention on the effectiveness of treatment technologies and examine proper methods for gathering, storing, treating, testing, and documenting how treated water quality evolves and is controlled in each pilot facility. The oil and gas industry has been using recycled produced water in oil and gas activities. The pilot studies will explore opportunities in additional beneficial uses. Treated fluid will not be allowed to be discharged to surface water during the pilot studies.  

    The produced water recycling framework is a starting point and will evolve over time in collaboration with the work of others such as the academic community, consortia, industry, and community leaders.

    The information obtained by these pilot studies can be used to develop more focused regulation on produced water recycling and help guide future development.

    A copy of the framework can be found on the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/oil-and-gas/applications-and-permits/environmental-permit-types/pilot-projects/.

  • Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for December 2023

    January 04, 2024

    The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 669 original drilling permits in December 2023. The total includes 621 to drill new oil or gas wells, 14 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 33 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

    The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in December2023 is:  120 oil, 38 gas, 475 oil and gas, 25 injection, two service, and nine other permits.

    In December 2023, Commission staff processed 506 oil, 129 gas and 77 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 – December 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

    77

    93

    30

    (2) REFUGIO AREA

    56

    34

    13

    (3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS

    6

    16

    5

    (4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS

    12

    0

    1

    (5) EAST CENTRAL TX

    1

    4

    1

    (6) EAST TEXAS

    26

    15

    27

    (7B) WEST CENTRAL TX

    11

    9

    0

    (7C) SAN ANGELO AREA

    63

    66

    0

    (8) MIDLAND

    305

    169

    33

    (8A) LUBBOCK AREA

    30

    15

    0

    (9) NORTH TEXAS

    31

    12

    7

    (10) PANHANDLE

    3

    2

    0

    TOTAL

    621

    435

    117

     

    # # #

     

  • Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for October 2023

    January 02, 2024

    Statewide and county crude oil and natural gas production for October 2023 reported in the tables below came from 162,578 oil wells and 86,662 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 - October 2023 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION*

    PRODUCT

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION

    Crude Oil

    114,547,597 BBLS (barrels)

    3,695,084 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    893,803,295 mcf (thousand cubic feet)

    28,832,364 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 2022 STATEWIDE PRODUCTION

    PRODUCT

    UPDATED REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    PRELIMINARY REPORTED TOTAL VOLUME

    Crude Oil

    137,539,533 BBLS

    110,720,603 BBLS

    Natural Gas

    996,054,137 mcf

    848,930,463 mcf

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CRUDE OIL (BBLS)

    1.

    MARTIN

    17,531,332

    2.

    MIDLAND

    16,976,898

    3.

    UPTON

    8,118,787

    4.

    HOWARD

    7,564,696

    5.

    LOVING

    6,334,749

    6.

    KARNES

    5,901,076

    7.

    GLASSCOCK

    4,473,447

    8.

    REEVES

    4,339,619

    9.

    ANDREWS

    3,990,857

    10.

    REAGAN

    3,673,834

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    TOTAL GAS (MCF)

    1.

    REEVES

    84,804,652

    2.

    WEBB

    75,641,419

    3.

    MIDLAND

    67,839,320

    4.

    PANOLA

    52,774,590

    5.

    MARTIN

    44,328,511

    6.

    LOVING

    38,239,037

    7.

    CULBERSON

    37,215,849

    8.

    UPTON

    33,461,390

    9.

    HARRISON

    31,198,550

    10.

    HOWARD

    26,462,951

     

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

    RANK

    COUNTY

    CONDENSATE (BBLS)

    1.

    REEVES

    6,986,663

    2.

    LOVING

    4,135,292

    3.

    CULBERSON

    3,275,129

    4.

    KARNES

    1,308,516

    5.

    WEBB

    1,272,484

    6.

    DE WITT

    1,146,882

    7.

    DIMMIT

    721,106

    8.

    WARD

    510,235

    9.

    LIVE OAK

    500,028

    10.

    MCMULLEN

    277,454

    ###





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