Texas Oil/Gas Drilling Permits Down But Well Inspections on Track

Texas Oil/Gas Drilling Permits Down But Well Inspections on Track

2021-01-14 17:44:02

The Texas state agency for regulating the oil and gas industry says the number of original drilling permits issued in December 2020 was nearly halved compared to December 2019. However, the Texas Railroad Commission also says it is on track to exceed its well inspection targets .

The commission issued a total of 486 original drilling permits in December 2020, compared to 803 in December 2019. The December 2020 total includes 424 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, four to re-enter plugged wells and 48 for redeliveries. of existing well drilling.

The breakdown of well types for original drilling permits in December 2020 is 118 oil, 43 gas, 296 oil or gas, 12 injection and 17 other permits.

In December 2020, Commission staff processed 493 completed oil, 77 gas and 116 injections for new drilling machines, reinsertions and resupplies, compared to 491 completed oil, 98 gas and 20 injections in December 2019.

The total number of well completions processed for 2020 to date for new drilling, re-entry and re-completion is 14,140 compared to 9,238 recorded during the same period in 2019.

Technological changes allow the committee to report more detailed monthly data on drilling permits and well deliveries. The information in reports from previous years may not exactly match the same results in the new report. These technological improvements bring more statistics and transparency, and the new report is available on the Commission website at:



In 2018, the Railroad Commission set a goal to inspect each of the nearly 440,000 oil and gas wells in the state at least once every five years. One of the Texas Legislature performance measures for the RRC tracks the percentage of wells that are not inspected in a five-year cycle. For the 2020-21 biennium, the goal is to have that percentage 5% or less in each fiscal year.

At the end of fiscal year 2020, only 1% of wells had not been inspected in a five-year cycle. RRC inspectors are well ahead of fiscal year 2021 pace. In the first quarter of the fiscal year alone, the committee achieved its goal of not inspecting less than 5% of wells, a number that is expected to continue to improve as the inspections for the rest of the year.

Source: Railroad Commission of Texas

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