Texas oil regulator adopts new flaring rules

Texas oilfield production workers will now be required to show why they need permission to flare or vent natural gas under updated rules approved by state regulators.

For several months the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has weighed how to balance exploration and production (E&P), particularly in the oilfields in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. In June, regulators heard from E&P executives about how to curb flaring/venting, and an industry coalition provided recommendations on best practices.

Flaring and venting gas already is limited under Texas state rules, but has been routinely has allowed exceptions.  Operators now must “more thoroughly document” the need to flare/vent gas and provide “accurate information to assess compliance.” The revisions also encourage “transparency in understanding the broader needs and reasons for flaring and/or venting during oil and gas production operations in Texas.”

In support of the program, RRC staff is developing an online form to submit the exception requests. The first phase of the implementation is currently planned by the end of March 2021. Operators may use the existing data sheet until April 1, 2021.

Details Courtesy of Natural Gas Intelligence.

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