Chairman Craddick Furthers Efficiency, Modernization of RRC – Releases Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative Phase Two

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AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today announced the second phase of the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative as part of an ongoing effort to streamline regulation at the agency. The initiative reduces administrative requirements on the oil and gas industry while ensuring the public and environment are protected.

“At the Railroad Commission, we are removing unnecessary burdens on business and implementing technology upgrades that allow our staff, the public and industry to access and submit data and information in an easier, more efficient manner,” Craddick said. “Key changes like these are part of our overall goal to modernize the agency, ultimately saving staff time and reducing the cost of doing business at the Commission.

“The recommendation to reduce W-10 testing requirements, eliminating data our staff no longer needs, is estimated to save the oil industry approximately $52 million a year,” Craddick said. “These cost-savings can then be passed on to create more jobs for Texans and generate more revenue for state coffers through increased energy production.”

The initiative results from a review of the Railroad Commission’s regulatory processes and takes careful consideration to maintain the strength of public and environmental protections, correlative rights and measures designed to prevent the waste of resources.

Phase two of Chairman Craddick’s Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative includes the following items:

  • Identify agency reporting requirements that can be eliminated while maintaining strong environmental protections, saving staff and industry time and costs.
    • After the initial Oil Well Status Report (W-10) test or optional allocation, operators may choose to eliminate subsequent W-10 tests and filings except for limited circumstances, including:
      • recompletion of the well into a different regulatory field
      • reclassification of the well from gas to oil
      • resume production from a well classified as inactive as defined in §3.15 (relating to Surface Equipment Removal Requirements and Inactive Wells)
      • reinstate an allowable
      • as required by Commission order, special field rule, or other rule
    • Operators of wells listed on the proration schedule must continue to report the producing or shut-in status of each well on the annual well status report.
  • Modify the agency’s Geographic Information System mapping tool to allow for an area of review to be identified and downloadable in a CSV file for easier public and industry use.
  • Expand online use of forms for easier compliance and transmittal of information, saving staff and industry time and costs.
  • Modify Acreage Designation data sheets (P-16, Attachments 1A and 2A) to allow staff and industry to utilize a downloadable file for easier manipulation.
  • Improve the agency’s online system to allow industry to file a blanket Producer’s Transportation Authority and Certificate of Compliance (P-4) form for gatherers by lease or by operator rather than changing the name on each well, saving staff and industry time and costs.

The initiative’s recommendations are currently in the process of being implemented with the exception of rule amendments related to W-10 testing requirements. Staff anticipates amendments to W-10 testing requirements will be presented at an upcoming Railroad Commission conference.

Phase one of the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative was launched in 2016 and successfully completed last year. More information on phase one of the initiative can be found here.