Texas Railroad Commission Announces 2019 Oil and Gas Division Monitoring and Enforcement Plan

Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Key provisions of the Plan:

  • Defines “Major Violations” more clearly for inspectors;
  • Identifies means for RRC to widely communicate compliance and enforcement data;
  • Increases number of annual inspections; and
  • Establishes targets for the periodic inspection of all wells.

On March 20th, 2018, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) disclosed its priorities to audit and enforce energy activities across Texas during fiscal year (FY) 2019. The draft plan, which is open for public comment until April 20th, affirms present priorities of the oil and gas division and provides guidance on the “direction for data collection, stakeholder input, and new priorities.”

Goal 1: Accurately demonstrate the RRC’s oil and gas monitoring and enforcement activities.

The RRC updated its working definition of the term “major violation.”  The concept of a major violation remains unchanged, but the RRC now provides additional examples for inspectors to use to identify violations as “major violations.”  Additionally, the RRC will develop ways to make inspection, compliance, and enforcement data and trends more readily available to the agency, the industry, and the public.

Goal 2: Strategically use the oil and gas monitoring and enforcement resources of the Commission to ensure public safety and protect the environment.

The RRC will continue to modernize the Inspection/Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System with a focus on centralizing the tracking and management of enforcement processes and contested cases.  The RRC plans to increase the number of facility inspections and to established new performance targets for the periodic inspection of all wells.  The RRC will continue to focus its efforts on inspecting critical well operations, such as surface casing settings, mechanical integrity tests, and plugging.  Additionally, all inland wells will be inspected at least once every five years.  Wells located in bays and offshore will be inspected at least once every two years. Additionally, the RRC’s well-plugging program work plan targets the plugging and abandoning of 1,500 wells in FY 2019.

For more information on the plan or to submit your comments, please visit: http://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/44365/draft-og-strategic-plan-fy2019_final-draft.pdf

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