This year’s legislative appropriations will allow the Texas Railroad Commission to hire 50 new pipeline safety professionals.


The Texas Railroad Commission will receive approximately $481 million over the next two years under the state budget bill, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 18.

The agency’s new budget includes new funding for various projects. Highlights include:

  • Hiring up to 50 new pipeline safety professionals to conduct pipeline inspections on additional gathering lines, which are pipelines used to transport oil or natural gas from the production site to a central location. The number of RRC regulated gathering lines has now increased more than seven times to about 45,000 miles, according to information from the agency.
  • Funding for new staff in the Oil and Gas Environmental Permits and Support Unit. The RRC has reported a significant workload increase in this unit following the enactment of legislation that encourages the recycling of fluid waste. The additional staff also would assist in an anticipated increase in carbon capture permitting applications if the federal Environmental Protection Agency grants the RRC primacy to oversee carbon capture applications.
  • Funding for additional cameras to increase inspection capabilities. Cameras have been used by the Railroad Commission for more than 10 years to detect emissions from wells and other oil and gas facilities during inspections.

— R.A. Dyer