Has Texas Heat Affected Oil and Gas Operations?



Texas has been hot lately.

Temperatures hit a maximum of 103F (39.44C) in the Midland-Odessa area of Texas on July 9, according to online weather data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, which showed that the maximum temperature in the area was 98F (36.66C) on July 8, 96F (35.55C) on July 7, 97F (36.11C) on July 6, and 98F on July 5.

When Rigzone asked the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) if the recent heat in Texas has been affecting oil and gas operations, the organization’s President, Ed Longanecker, said, “most operators we talked to did not experience any significant disruptions during extreme heat conditions”.

Longanecker added, however, that “one operator said it was more difficult to operate at times compared to winter weather”.

The TIPRO President also told Rigzone that “some producers mentioned that they experienced some challenges with equipment due to the heat, including compressors, electrical submersible pumps and propane refrigeration at a gas plant, which caused minor and temporary disruptions”.

“Many crews were instructed to start an hour earlier in the day so they could shut down earlier in the afternoon to avoid so much of a duration in the extreme heat, to take more breaks, and hydrate,” Longanecker added.

When Rigzone posed the same question to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), an RRC spokesperson told Rigzone that “no disruptions in the supply of oil and natural gas have been reported related to the heat”.

Rigzone also asked the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) if the recent heat in Texas has been affecting oil and gas operations. At the time of writing, these organization have not yet responded to Rigzone.

As of July 10, 03.58 CDT, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Weather Service website was transmitting 16 heat advisory alerts, one excessive heat warning alert, and two flood advisory alerts for Texas.

According to the latest Texas oil and gas production statistics from the RRC, which were released in June and were for March this year, the preliminary reported total volume of crude oil in the state was 115.34 million barrels back in March. The preliminary reported total volume of natural gas in Texas during that month was 896.19 billion cubic feet, the RRC revealed last month.

The top three Texas crude oil producing counties ranked by preliminary production in March 2023 were Midland, with 17.62 million barrels, Martin, with 15.35 million barrels, and Upton, with 7.522 million barrels, the RRC highlighted in its latest production statistics report. The top three Texas gas producing counties ranked by preliminary production in March were Reeves, with 84.45 billion cubic feet, Webb, with 79.80 billion cubic feet, and Midland, with 65.72 billion cubic feet, according to the RRC.

The RRC highlighted in the report that these preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and noted that they will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

The RRC is the state agency with primary regulatory jurisdiction over the oil and natural gas industry, pipeline transporters, natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline industry, natural gas utilities, the LP-gas industry, critical natural gas infrastructure, and coal and uranium surface mining operations, the organization notes on its website. The commission was established in 1891 under a constitutional and legislative mandate to prevent discrimination in railroad charges and establish reasonable tariffs, its site states, adding that it is the oldest regulatory agency in the state and one of the oldest of its kind in the nation.

TIPRO, which was founded in 1946, represents nearly 3,000 individuals and companies from the Texas oil and gas industry, according to its site. TIPRO is one of the country’s largest oil and gas trade associations and the strongest advocacy group representing both independents and royalty owners in Texas, the organization’s site states.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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