Yesterday during a hearing, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) provided data that showed a significant reduction in flaring in Texas as well as proposed revisions to Statewide Rule 32 (SWR 32) Exception Data Sheet. The Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition (Coalition) appreciates the Commissioners’ leadership and looks forward to working with regulators and the collective industry on meeting our shared goal of ending routine flaring in Texas.
The data provided by the RRC confirms that both industry and regulators are continuing to make great strides on environmental progress. The rate of flaring being reduced by 79% is highly significant when you consider, at minimum, more than one-third of the reduction came before the market-driven curtailment of production in response to the current global pandemic. The focus on implementing a greater use of technology will continue to spur innovation, which is the hallmark of this industry.
The RRC also announced today that it is accepting public comment on proposed revisions to Statewide Rule 32 Exception Data Sheet, Application for Exception to Statewide Rule 32. The Statewide Rule 32 Exception Data Sheet is filed when an operator requests authority to flare or vent gas. The proposed amendment to the Statewide Rule 32 Exception Data Sheet will improve the effectiveness of the RRC’s Rule 32 exception program by:
- requiring operators to more thoroughly document the circumstances surrounding the need to flare gas;
- providing the RRC accurate information to assess compliance with the flare/vent authority; and
- encouraging transparency in understanding the broader needs and reasons for flaring and/or venting during oil and gas production operations in Texas.
Public comments will be accepted through Friday, September 4, 2020. To view the proposed revisions and submit a comment, visit the RRC website at https://rrc.texas.gov/about-us/resource-center/forms/proposed-form-changes/. To watch full RRC hearing, click HERE.
In June, the Coalition published a report with recommendations that aim to equip operators with the tools necessary to reduce flaring. The Coalition outlined enhancements to the current form in the Proposed SWR 32 Data Sheet and Proposed SWR 32 Subsequent Report which provide for pragmatic steps in reducing flaring. Beyond the recommendations rolled out by the Coalition in its June report, flaring will decrease as industry continues to harness an innovative spirit, pioneer technologies, develop options to treat natural gas on the production site, expand pipeline capacity, and refine best practices – all with a goal of not only reducing flared volumes, but ultimately ending routine flaring.