“We have to build safer highways. We have to increase capacity because we have too much traffic for the infrastructure we have in place. The Permian Basin is home to about 2.5 percent of the state’s population. We’re home to 10 percent of the fatal car accidents.”

— West Texas state Rep. Brooks Landgraf, at a town meeting in Odessa, talking about the Permian Basin’s 75% contribution to the Texas oil and gas industry and the accompanying 75% contribution to the state’s severance tax. Landgraf said a single-digit percentage of that severance tax revenue should be dedicated to the Permian to improve infrastructure (quoted in the Odessa American).

The TER Buzz:

American Energy Dominance Agenda Contributes to Record U.S. Oil Production: Longanecker


By Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO)

This month, the U.S. Interior Department unveiled final revisions to an Obama-era rule aimed at curbing methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations on federal lands. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently announced proposed improvements for the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) designed to ease regulatory burdens on domestic energy producers by modifying the frequency for monitoring leaks at well sites and compressor stations and adopting other important technical corrections to the original NSPS rule. Both efforts seek to address overreaching regulatory issues advanced under the previous administration to support reasonable standards that protect the environment, encourage increased domestic energy production, as well as recognize the significant progress that has made in reducing energy emissions without excessive regulations designed to hamper oil and gas production.


The rollback of unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations under President Trump’s American Energy Dominance agenda has contributed to record U.S. oil production and countless related benefits afforded to our society. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. became the largest global crude oil producer this year, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. EIA estimated that the U.S. produced an average of 10.9 million barrels a day (b/d) in August, compared with about 10.8 million b/d by Russia and around 10.4 million b/d from Saudi Arabia. The U.S. passed Saudi Arabia in February for the first time in more than two decades, and topped Russia for the first time since 1999 this summer.


Texas continues to lead the U.S. in oil and natural gas production and growth. Crude oil production in the state totaled an estimated 980 million barrels through August of 2018, representing an increase of 170 million barrels of oil produced compared to the same timeframe last year, and a total of 1.5 billion barrels forecasted for the full year, according to TIPRO. Natural gas production increased slightly for a total of 5,450,732,930 cubic feet of gas produced through August. As anticipated, much of the increased output is coming from West Texas. Permian Basin production is expected to average 3.4 million b/d in 2018, an 871,000 b/d increase from 2017, and average 3.9 million b/d in 2019, a 514,000 b/d increase from 2018.


Pipeline capacity constraints in West Texas have lowered wellhead prices for producers in the Permian, however, which could slow projected growth of crude output next year. As midstream companies rush to add additional capacity to ease bottlenecks, several have accelerated their pipeline infrastructure projects. Plains All American Pipeline, for instance, recently announced that two West Texas crude oil projects would begin partial operations ahead of their original schedules, including the Sunrise expansion project in the fourth quarter of this year and the Cactus II line to begin partial service in the third quarter of next year.


The longer term outlook for domestic production could also be impacted from an escalation in the China-U.S. trade war and rising costs for oil and gas operators and critical infrastructure projects due to steel and aluminum tariffs. Tariffs on imported steel and aluminum have been described by many as a tax against U.S.-based producers, large and small, adding significant cost on a per-well basis and a punitive tax of tens of millions of dollars to some critical infrastructure projects.


Nonetheless, with expanding exploration and production activity in 2018, Texas oil and natural gas employment has also continued to rise as employers compete for a limited pool of talent. More than 9,000 net new jobs were added to the state economy through August of this year compared to 2017, for a total of 335,000 workers directly employed by the industry, subject to revisions. Upstream sector jobs continued to account for the majority of the growth, including a total of 78,000 oil and gas extraction jobs and 141,000 oil and gas support activities jobs in the state. Texas oil and gas positions command an average salary of $128,000 per year, 132 percent more than average private sector wages in Texas, for a total payroll exceeding $42 billion.


Continuing regulatory improvements, expanding pipeline capacity and an expedited resolution to trade disputes will support increased U.S. energy production, strengthen national security and drive economic growth for the state of Texas.

Phase out of Oklaunion coal plant in 2020 Will Drop Overall Smog and Sulfur Dioxide Pollution for Texas and Oklahoma Communities: Sierra Club

TEXAS – Last week, American Electric Power (AEP) announced that the Oklaunion coal-fired power plant in Vernon, Texas will be shutting down no later than September 2020.This is welcome news to Texans and Oklahomans alike who currently breathe air polluted by this plant.


Oklaunion, an approximate 700-megawatt power plant, is owned by AEP Texas, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.


This plant, situated near the border between Texas and Oklahoma, provides power for both the Southwest Power Pool in Oklahoma and the area managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). In addition to providing power, this plant is a a top ten polluter of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)- a smog forming pollutant- out of ALL industrial sites in Texas.


Houston Company Says It Will Go One Better on PUC’s Power to Choose

September 24, 2018


A company that says it advocates for Texas electricity consumers says it has an online shopping resource that’s superior to the PUC‘s Power to Choose.

Houston-based Texas Electricity Ratings has put together an Electricity Rate Analyzer that it says “sorts the best electricity rates from the questionable ones and recommends what plans best fit customer needs in usage amounts other than the standard 500, 1000, and 2000 kWh tiers.”…

RRC Enforcement Actions Taken at Commissioners’ Sept. 18 Conference

September 20, 2018

AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $355,324 in fines involving 265 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference this week.


The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

Operators were ordered to come into compliance with Commission rules and assessed $34,199 for oil and gas, LP-Gas and pipeline safety rule violations.


Commissioner Ryan Sitton Highlights Texas’ Global Energy Impact at Gulf Coast Industry Forum: RRC


PASADENA – Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton on Thursday gave the closing keynote address at the Gulf Coast Industry Forum, which brought together cities, counties, port authorities and hundreds of energy industry professionals to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the Gulf Coast energy industry.


“Texas’ impact on global energy markets right now cannot be overstated,” Sitton said. “The things happening in Texas oil fields, processing plants and petrochemical facilities are reverberating around the world. For example, between 2011 through 2020, U.S. petrochemical capacity will have grown by 28 million tonnes. And since 2010, 325 projects cumulatively valued at almost $200 billion in capital investment have been announced, many of which are located along the Gulf Coast. As oil and natural gas production continue to rise, more pipelines are built and ports expanded, and more petrochemical facilities start up, American energy is dramatically improving America’s trade deficits and enhancing our economic and national security. Every single Texan should be excited about these developments,” concluded Sitton.


Earlier in the day Sitton spoke at the University of Texas’ 17th Annual Gas and Power Institute CLE event. He delivered similar remarks to those described above.

Above: Commissioner Ryan Sitton delivering the closing keynote at the 2018 Gulf Coast Industry Forum.

Texas leads as U.S. become largest oil producer surpassing Saudi Arabia, Russia

By Alex Mills


Increased crude oil production throughout Texas this year has resulted in a huge jump in U.S. oil production. Now, apparently the U.S. has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer a feat that would have been thought impossible just 10 years ago.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the Department of Energy issued a report recently estimating that U.S. oil production volumes passed Saudi Arabia in February and Russia in June and August.

“U.S. crude oil production, particularly from light sweet crude oil grades, has rapidly increased since 2011,” EIA noted in its Short-Term Energy Outlook. “Much of the recent growth has occurred in areas such as the Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, and the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana.”…