The state of Texas and the Texas Railroad Commission have petitioned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to review PHMSA’s interim final rule regulating underground natural gas storage facilities. As required by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, PHMSA published an interim final rule last December establishing minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, which became effective in January. Such facilities have come under increased scrutiny since the 2015 Aliso Canyon storage field leak that lasted almost four months.
The Texas Railroad Commission on May 24th adopted amendments to the Commission’s well construction requirements rule (Statewide Rule 13) to clarify current oil and gas well construction requirements related to casing, cementing, drilling, well control and completions, particularly with regard to hydraulic fracturing operations. Among other things, the amendments impose new obligations regarding pressure testing, reporting, monitoring and other construction considerations which operators should consider in planning new wells. The new rule amendments take effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and apply to any wells drilled on or after Jan. 1, 2014. For more information, visit the TRRC website at: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/.