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Texas Contemplates Stricter Oil and Gas Regulation

December 27th, 2012

According to an article featured by State Impact, the Texas legislature may have more incentive to strengthen oil and gas regulations on the oil and gas industry. Sources say that because of the recent oil and gas boom in Texas, the industry is receiving a lot more scrutiny. The State Impact article even reports that there is a upcoming movie featuring Matt Damon which brings attention to the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracking.

According to the article, leaders in the industry feel that stronger regulation has not been implemented because the entity which controls oil and gas in Texas, the Texas Railroad Commission, is underfunded and understaffed. Reportedly, since 2003, the number of wells monitored by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) increased by 42,000 to a total statewide of nearly 400,000 active and inactive wells.

The Texas Railroad Commission believes that in order to monitor these wells it needs around 150 oil and gas inspectors. Public information suggests that despite the huge increase in the number of wells, inspection of those wells has only increased 3 percent from 2003-2012. However, one Railroad Commission insider has stated that “[a]growth in drilling activity does not necessarily correlate to a corresponding increase in violations. In fact, our inspectors have been witnessing increased compliance by operators.” Critics of the current oil and gas regulation are quick to point out that the fees actually imposed for a violation are miniscule compared to the profit derived from the well.

If you or anyone you know may have been wronged by an oil and gas company, please call our offices at 877-892-2797 or 713-864-1941.

Read the full article here: http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/12/18/looking-for-trouble-will-lawmakers-beef-up-drilling-inspections/

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