State rules on oil and gas well integrity may be getting an overhaul soon, based on revisions proposed by the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency overseeing the regulation of the oil and gas industry.
This week, the agency announced revisions planned for next year, including new cement quality specifications and standards on the thickness of casing, the pipe at the center of a well. While the amendments would apply to all oil and gas wells, the agency also is looking at new requirements for wells drilled for hydraulic fracturing. It has created concerns about contamination of underground water supplies, although some studies suggest leakage of oil and gas into water results from deficiencies in wells, not the fracturing process itself.
Agency staff will discuss the proposed rule changes with industry and other interests, then make a final decision on them beginning sometime in January.