More Railroad Commission of Texas online applications for operators

Texas oil and gas operators now able to submit Railroad Commission of Texas payments online

The life of Texas oil and gas operators got a little bit easier Tuesday, as two more application forms are now available to be filled out online from the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Railroad Commission of Texas

Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner.

The Railroad Commission of Texas says having Form GW-1, Groundwater Protection Determination Request Form, and Statewide Rule 13 exception requests (SWR 3.13 regarding Casing, Cementing, Drilling, Well Control and Completion Requirements) online is part of the modernization and efficiency upgrades of its Information Technology Project.

Commissioner Ryan Sitton says the new applications will for the first time allow operators to fill out requests online and submit payments in one process.

“They will provide greater efficiencies in well-constructing permitting to protect public safety and our natural resources while encouraging the development of our home-grown, domestic energy,” he said.

“It is our duty to use the resources the Legislature appropriated to us to make Texas the easiest and best place in the world to develop energy.”

The new Railroad Commission of Texas online applications enable Commission staff to review and process them more quickly. The new online applications minimize errors.

“These modernization and efficiency upgrades will help the Commission reduce regulatory burdens on industry without compromising the safety of our citizens and natural resources,” said Chairman Christi Craddick.

Railroad Commission of Texas

Christi Craddick, chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas.

“The agency is able to make these improvements thanks to legislative support and funding made available last session for important IT functions.”

For all wells drilled in Texas, the Groundwater Protection letter states the depth of usable-quality water (which varies throughout the state) and additional isolation zones to be protected by surface casing.

In Texas, all wells are required to be constructed with several layers of casing, with surface casing first required to be set from the surface to at least 25 feet below the base of usable quality water to isolate an oil or gas well from groundwater. Surface casing acts as a protective sleeve sealing the well off from and protecting groundwater while providing a channel through which deeper drilling occurs.

In May 2013, the Commission updated and clarified Statewide Rule 13 construction requirements for oil and gas wells drilled on or after Jan. 1, 2014.

“Protecting groundwater when oil and gas wells are drilled is one of the most important roles we have as a regulatory agency,” Commissioner David Porter said. “By allowing operators to request and more quickly obtain information on how to construct their wells to protect groundwater, we are strengthening this vital role.”

 

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