RRC Staff Processing Standard Drilling Permits in Two Days

Drilling Permit Processing Record Set for Second Year in a Row

January 17, 2020

AUSTIN –– For two years in a row since 2018, Railroad Commission of Texas staff have set a historic record of taking just two days on average to process standard drilling permits, one day below the Legislative requirement. This efficiency helps foster the growth of energy production statewide. Standard drilling permits are permits that do not require exceptions to Commission rules such spacing or density rules.

During Calendar Year 2019 the RRC processed a total of 11,654 new drilling permits.

“The Railroad Commission’s technological solutions enables operators to quickly apply for and receive drilling permits,” said RRC Executive Director Wei Wang. “Nearly 99 percent of operators apply for drilling permits online. This allows our staff to thoroughly and quickly review each application to ensure operators meet all drilling permit requirements.”

Texas leads the nation in oil and gas production with the Permian Basin in West Texas ranking as the top energy production region nationwide. In the last 12 months Texas operators reported 1.438 billion barrels of oil produced and almost 10 trillion cubic feet of total gas.

Additionally, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Permian Basin contains 66 billion barrels of oil, nearly 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 21 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the Midland and Delaware Basins.

“Texas will continue to be the nation’s leader in energy production,” Wang said. “The Railroad Commission’s efficient, timely permit review processes are essential to the continued development of the state’s energy resources and ultimately support Texas’ economic prosperity.” 

Obtaining a drilling permit or Form W-1 from the Commission is one of the first steps oil and gas operators must take along with filing an Organization Report or P-5 and posting necessary bonds. Drilling permits indicate if a well will be vertical or horizontal; the well’s proposed location; and specific hydrocarbon fields to be produced. Once approved, drilling permits are valid for two years. Drilling permits filed by operators and approved by RRC staff can be searched by using the Commission’s online “Drilling Permit (W-1) " Query.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.