Industry watchers say economics and the definition of waste could be at play in a decision on whether to grant a flaring permit, unless the involved parties reach an agreement.
Velda Addison and Joseph Markman, HartEnergy.com
Excess natural gas is burned off at an oil well site. (Source: Sean Hannon acritelyphoto/Shutterstock/HartEnergy.com)
Flaring of natural gas, the industry insists, will be resolved when infrastructure projects are completed and producers have access to gathering and transmission pipelines to move gas to market.
But what if gas infrastructure components were already in place? What if an oil producer wanted to flare anyway because economics favored burning it off over paying a midstream operator to take it away?
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is scheduled to address such a case Aug. 6. Exco Operating Co. has requested an exemption to Rule §3.32 of the Texas Administrative Code, which prohibits flaring of associated gas from initial completion beyond 10 producing days. The Williams Cos. has opposed the request, arguing that its Mockingbird Midstream Gas Services LLC system was in operation at Briscoe Ranch in the Eagle Ford when Exco purchased its position.