The Railroad Commission of Texas is the authority for all things oil and gas in the state, including the efforts to minimize abandoned and leaking oil and gas wells. Texas has developed the Oil & Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund (OGRC) to allow the Railroad Commission to plug abandoned oil and gas wells and clean-up abandoned oilfield sites. The Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund is a fund that was created by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011. This fund replaced the previous Oil Field Cleanup Fund.
The Q2 Quarterly Report from the OGRC Fund indicated:
Well Plugging: The 2nd quarter performance for State-Managed Plugging includes 348 wells plugged with a total expenditure of $7,776,489 using Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup (OGRC) and General Revenue funds. This includes wells that have been physically plugged, invoiced by the plugging contractor, and approved for payment by Field Operations. Additionally, during the 2nd quarter, 349 wells were approved for plugging with State funds. A total of 614 wells were physically plugged through the end of the 2nd quarter, of which, 533 have been invoiced and paid. The actual wells plugged and expenditure by district for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 and the well plugging goals by district for fiscal year 2022 are shown on the attached graphs. The fiscal year 2022 budget is $22,754,000.
Site Remediation: The 2nd quarter performance for Site Remediation includes 76 cleanup activities completed with a total expenditure of $6,575,920.95 using OGRC funds. Additionally, during the 2nd quarter 75 cleanup activities were authorized for cleanup with State funds. Through the end of the 2nd quarter, Site Remediation has completed and formally closed a total of 94 cleanup activities using OGRC funds. The actual remediation activities and expenditure by district for fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022 and the goals for the Site Remediation activities by district for fiscal year 2022 are shown on the attached graphs. The fiscal year 2022 budget is $10,726,128.84.
Although most oil and gas wells that are no longer productive are plugged by the responsible operators, the Railroad Commission administers a program to plug abandoned oil and gas wells.
Wells Remaining to be Plugged with State Managed Funds
This list shows wells which remain to be plugged with (Texas) State funds. It includes wells where plugging operations may be ongoing or the wells may be included in a plugging contract that: has either been awarded, a bid award is pending; or the initiation of the formal bid process is pending. If you have questions regarding the status of these wells, please contact the appropriate district office.
State Managed Plugging Activities Monthly Reports
These reports include data by month and year of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ (Commission) activities related to plugging orphan wells using the Oil & Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund.
Approved Cementers List
This is a list of Approved Cementers that have an active Organizational Report (Form P-5) on file with the Commission.
Orphan Wells with Delinquent P-5 greater than 12 months
This page provides information relating to Orphan Wells for which the Operator’s P-5 has been delinquent for more than 12 months. The page also includes the procedure for taking over an Orphan Well for reimbursement to surface owners for plugging such wells.
Formations Required to be Isolated Upon Well Plugging
This document provides information by Commission District and County of Fields/Zones that must be isolated in accordance with 16 Texas Administrative Code §3.13 (Statewide Rule 13).
State Managed Well Plugging (Video)
Although most oil and gas wells that are no longer productive are plugged by the responsible operators, the Railroad Commission of Texas administers a program to plug abandoned oil and gas wells. Watch the video to learn more.
Credit: The Railroad Commission of Texas