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Industry Brief

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has made more upgrades as part of its Information Technology Project with the launch of two applications operators can complete and file online. RRC Form GW-1, Groundwater Protection Determination Request Form, and Statewide Rule 13 exception requests (SWR 3.13 regarding Casing, Cementing, Drilling, Well Control and Completion Requirements) can now be completed and submitted online. The applications allow operators to submit filings more conveniently and also enable RRC staff to review and process them more quickly. For all wells drilled in Texas, the Groundwater Protection letter states the depth of usable-quality water and additional isolation zones to be protected by surface casing. In Texas, all wells are required to be constructed with several layers of casing, with surface casing first required to be set from the surface to at least 25 feet below the base of usable quality water to isolate an oil or gas well from groundwater. In May 2013, RRC updated and clarified Statewide Rule 13 construction requirements for oil and gas wells drilled on or after Jan. 1, 2014 (see Shale DailyMay 28, 2013).

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