Texas Regulator Expects to Beat Well Inspection Target
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) reported Thursday that it is on track to exceed its goal for oil and gas well inspections this year.
In 2018 the regulator began pursuing the goal of inspecting each of Texas’ nearly 440,000 oil and gas wells at least once every five years, RRC noted in a written statement. The commission explained that the Texas Legislature in part measures RRC’s performance based on the percentage of wells left uninspected in a five-year cycle. The uninspected well goal for the 2020-21 biennium is five percent or less in each fiscal year, the agency added.
Just one percent of wells had not been inspected within a five-year cycle at the end of fiscal year 2020, RRC continued. Citing the table below, the regulator stated that its inspectors are well ahead of the fiscal 2021 target – they ended the first quarter of fiscal 2021 with just one percent of wells uninspected within a five-year span.
In contrast, RRC pointed out that 58 percent of wells had not been inspected in the year before the five-year goal was implemented. With inspections occurring more frequently, RRC contends there has been a “broad reduction” in the number of oil and gas well violations.
“We have worked diligently toward achieving this goal,” commented Clay Woodul, RRC’s director of field operations. “Our inspectors deserve all the credit for this accomplishment, which is even more impressive considering the pandemic we have been dealing with.”
RRC also stated that it plans to adopt an even stricter inspection threshold. It pointed out that its goal for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 is to reduce the percentage of uninspected wells in a five-year cycle to below 0.25 percent.
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