It’s about time! The Texas Railroad Commission RRC has updated their well construction rules (to be adopted early next year) for the first time in decades. The last time the rules were updated was back in the 70s which is way before 2002 when horizontal drilling and fracking got married.
This is a good step.
Texas moves to boost well construction standards
Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E reporter
EnergyWire: Thursday, December 13, 2012
The rules aim to fortify wells against spills, leaks and blowouts that can foul water and land. Accidents like that fuel heavy criticism from those who say oil and gas development — specifically the fast pace of shale development — is putting health and the environment at risk.
The rules would strengthen oversight of well casing, the pipe that lines a well, along with cement jobs, the layer of leak defense that wraps around the casing. Operators would have to pressure-test casing before use and mix cement with lower volumes of water to ensure a stronger bond.
There are additional requirements for wells that will be fracked. For example: Pressure during fracking will be monitored and fracking will be stopped immediately if the pressure goes above a certain point. A remediation plan must be approved before fracking resumes.
The RRC should continue to update these rules. Next up should be earthquake proof casing requirements. IJS.