Entergy Texas Begins Work On State-Of-the-Art Power Plant North of Houston

Image result for montgomery county power station groundbreaking


February 19, 2019


Entergy‘s new Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS) north of Houston is digging in for the long run.

Groundbreaking on Friday morning — as seen in the photo above — included Nate James, Mayor of New Waverly; Brian Bondy, President of the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce; Leonard Reed, Mayor of Willis; Jon Long, Entergy VP of Capital Projects; Dale Claudel, Entergy VP of Power Generation; Leo Denault, Chairman & CEO, Entergy; Sallie Rainer, President and CEO of Entergy Texas; Rod West, Entergy Group President of Utility Operations; Rep. Will Metcalf; David Dickson, CEO of McDermott; Clay Briscoe, Global VP of Power Generation, McDermott; Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and Senator Brandon Creighton

MCPS is to be a state-of-the-art, 993-megawatt combined cycle gas turbine plant to be completed in mid-2021, next to already-existing Lewis Creek Power Plant in Willis

Venezuela’s financial troubles impact Texas and U.S.

By Alex Mills


February 14, 2019


The political turmoil in Venezuela has huge implications internationally, especially for Texas and the United States.

Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the nationally owned energy company, currently owns three refineries in the U.S. – located in Corpus Christi, Lake Charles, La. and Lemont, Ill. – that refine 749,000 barrels of oil per day under the corporate umbrella of Citgo. PDVSA produces a little over 1 million barrels of oil per day in Venezuela and about half is shipped and refined in the U.S.

The refined products – gasoline, diesel, and lubricants – are sold in many different markets around the world, including to some 5,300 independently owned service stations under the Citgo brand throughout the U.S. The service stations are not under the Citgo Petroleum Corporation.

Citgo this week placed advertising in some national newspapers stressing that the gas stations are independently owned and operated, and the people working at these facilities have been a “valuable part of the American story for more than 100 years.”…

TXOGA Joins TAM In Support of Tax Code Chapter 312 Renewal

February 14, 2019


TXOGA is firmly behind the renewal of a state tax plan that goes before the state legislature this session, echoing commitments from the Texas Association of Manufacturers earlier this week.

In statements on Wednesday, Texas Oil and Gas Association President Todd Staples outlined the organization’s public policy priorities for the session, including the renewal of Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code, allowing counties and cities to offer temporary tax exemptions to attract new capital investment projects and all the quality jobs that accompany them.

On Tuesday, Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) President and CEO Tony Bennett also called for Chapter 312 renewal, adding, “Texas has the fourth highest industrial property taxes of any state – 65% higher than the national average…

RRC Looks At Orphaned Wells, Permit Drop, Increasing Costs At Budget Season

Is the “fee-based” Railroad Commission getting all the money paid by the oil and gas industry? No

The initial budget drops RRC funding by 1%

RRC, like the industry itself, is understaffed, House commissioners told

For budget projections of crude prices, is the state budget board using WTI or NYMEX?


February 13, 2019


The number of permits being issued by the Texas’ oil and gas regulatory agency is down over the past couple of months, even as it suffers increasing costs, an increasing number of orphan wells to be plugged and a shortage of full time employees, members of the Texas Legislature were told Tuesday.

The House Energy Resources Committee heard from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) at a scheduled meeting to hear the agency’s budget, which in its initial form will be reduced by 1% over the next two years.

The RRC, in this preliminary budget (HB 1), will get $253.4 million, a $2.6 million decrease from the 85th legislature’s 2018-19 appropriation, with $21.2 million general revenue money and almost $175 million in general revenue money dedicated to the oil and gas regulation cleanup account, according to Thomas Brown at the Texas State Legislative Budget Board.

Added are $43 million in other funds and a cap on full time employees at 827, Brown told the committee.


Abandoned Well Plugging Increasing


About $39 million is allotted for well plugging activities, which have been increasing over the past few years; Commissioner Ryan Sitton said the number of orphaned wells is increasing, with currently about 6,500 known abandoned oil and gas wells….

Texas Oil and Natural Gas Industry Paid More than $14 Billion in Taxes and Royalties in 2018, Up 27% from 2017

Staples: As TXOGA Turns 100, Taxes and Royalties from Oil and Natural Gas Hit $133 Billion – Just Since 2007


February 13, 2019

AUSTIN – According to just-released data from the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA), the Texas oil and natural gas industry paid more than $14 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties in fiscal year 2018, up 27 percent from fiscal year 2017 and the second-highest total in Texas history. TXOGA President Todd Staples hosted a media briefing this morning to share the data as well as the Association’s priorities for the 86th Legislature.


In noting that 2019 is TXOGA’s Centennial Year, Staples said, “As we celebrate 100 years of oil and natural gas, we are proud to report that the Texas oil and natural gas industry has paid $133 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties, just since 2007.”

“Last year alone, the Texas oil and natural gas industry paid the equivalent of $38 million a day to fund our schools, roads, universities and first responders,” said Todd Staples, president of TXOGA. “More tax and royalty revenue from the oil and natural gas industry means our lawmakers have more to work with to meet the needs of our growing state.”


In fiscal year 2018, Texas school districts received $1.24 billion in property taxes from mineral properties producing oil and natural gas, pipelines, and gas utilities. Counties received $366.5 million in oil and natural gas mineral property taxes. Property tax totals for each county and ISD are available at txoga.org.


“In addition to taxes and royalties, Texas oil and natural gas companies are investing billions in advanced technologies that are protecting and improving our environment – proof that we can grow our economy, protect the environment and enhance our energy security at the same time,” Staples said. U.S. CO2 emissions are near 20-year lows and methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems are down 14 percent since 1990 – all while production has skyrocketed.


State royalties paid by the oil and natural gas industry in fiscal year 2018 increased 18 percent to a total of $2 billion. That money is used to capitalize the Permanent School Fund (PSF), which benefits the public schools of Texas, and the Permanent University Fund (PUF), which benefits public higher education in Texas. Oil and natural gas royalties constitute the only substantive new money deposited annually to the PSF and PUF, according to Staples.


“What’s remarkable to me is that the Texas Permanent School Fund, seldom recognized outside of Texas, leads the pack among ALL educational endowments in the country,” he said. “With a balance of $41.4 billion at the end of fiscal year 2017, the PSF is the largest educational endowment in the nation – bigger than Harvard University’s endowment worth $39.2 billion.”


Finally, Staples described TXOGA’s public policy priorities for the 86th Legislature, which include support for adequate funding for the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to be properly staffed and equipped, funding for the Texas Department of Public Safety that will enhance public safety on congested roadways in energy-producing areas, reauthorization of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), renewal of Chapter 312, which allows counties and cities to provide temporary property tax reductions for new projects, and additional funding to assist counties in energy sectors that are experiencing increased traffic and road deterioration.


“We recognize that our state’s impressive energy achievements have sparked rapid population growth and created the need for additional funding for county roads,” said Staples. “Considering energy production is providing vast amounts of revenue for state and local governments, specifically the Rainy Day Fund, we think it appropriate to use a portion of funds already collected for repairs and expansions on county roads in our state’s energy sectors.”




Houston’s Solaris Begins Recycling Permian Basin Produced Water With New Clients

February 13, 2109


Water infrastructure company Solaris Water Midstream LLC is recycling produced water on new acreage in the Permian Basin.

The company’s Pecos Star System pipeline has new long-term commitments from a Marathon Oil subsidiary and from a company Solaris describes only as “one of the largest producers in the Permian,” in addition to previous contracts….

RRC Launches New Feature on Public GIS Map Viewer

New Radius Tool Makes Well Info in Defined Area Faster to Access


February 12, 2019


The Railroad Commission of TexasPublic Geographic Information System (GIS) Map Viewer can now display data for multiple wells in a defined radius area set by a user.


Surface and downhole data on multiple wells can now be easily downloaded and opened with software such as Microsoft Excel. This feature allows anyone to quickly research information for multiple wells in a specifically designated area, rather than one well at a time.


“Thanks to support from the Texas Legislature, the Commission is able to improve on one of our most popular online queries – the Public GIS Map Viewer,” Executive Director Wei Wang said. “Features like this help to further enhance transparency about the Commission’s regulation of the Texas energy industry.”


More information on using this new feature can be found under “Radius Tool and Download Wells” on pages 18-21 of the Public GIS Viewer User Guide.”
The user guide is available on Public GIS Viewer webpage: https://rrc.texas.gov/about-us/resource-center/research/gis-viewers/


Questions on using the new feature may be directed to the RRC’s Well Mapping Section at 512-463-6851 or RRC.Mapping@RRC.texas.gov .


Meridian Plans Refinery In the Permian Basin To Be Among “Cleanest On the Planet”

If you can’t get the crude to refineries, bring refineries to the crude; “Analysis indicates that there may be a need for more than one such facility in order to fully serve the needs of the Permian Basin”


Davis Refinery Under Construction


February 11, 2019


A new refinery for West Texas is planned by petroleum processor Meridian Energy Group.

The Irvine, California company said on Monday that “new” is the operative term, with plans for an advanced technology, environmentally-friendly petroleum processing project in Winkler County….