Texas oil and gas operators were hit hard this year as they were ordered to pay over $11 million in fines for 2017.
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) released its full-year report that chronicles all of the oil and gas inspections, violations and fines the agency assessed in 2017.
For the calendar year 2017, the RRC fined operators a total of $11,077,280, a steep increase over the $8,651,857 fines of 2016.
The fines included 3,567 cases involving the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety. Details include:
- $337,721 in fines assessed in oil and gas protested dockets that went to hearing;
- $3,980,880 in penalties for Master Default Orders;
- $2,690,765 in fines for Master Agreed Orders, and;
- $4,067,914 for Pipeline Damage Prevention penalties.
For the month of December, the Commission assessed $173.507 in fines involving 180 enforcement dockets against operators and support businesses.
It's been a busy year for oil and gas drilling across Texas and in the Eagle Ford Shale.For January-October, 2017, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) issued 4097 more (60%) oil and gas permits than last year. 1789 of those permits were granted to operators in Eagle Ford Shale counties, surpassing the total 2016 number of 1119.
The RRC issued 997 original drilling permits for the state in October, compared to 855 in October 2016. The breakdown includes:
- 885 new oil or gas wells permits
- 5 to re-enter plugged well bores permits
- 107 for re-completions of existing wells permits
- 236 oil, 46 gas, 646 oil or gas, 48 injection, zero service and 21 other permits
The Texas Railroad Commission regulates oil and gas exploration and production, pipeline safety, surface mining, natural gas utilities and alternative fuels. In April the RRC celebrated its 125th anniversary.