The Railroad Commission of Texas will host the Oil and Gas Regulatory Conference and Technical Workshop July 14-15 in Austin at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. The conference will educate and train oil and gas industry representatives on the laws, agency rules and procedures for hydrocarbon production in Texas. This year's general sessions feature presentations by Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioner Ryan Sitton. In addition, Commissioner David Porter will host the Texas Natural Gas Panel. The conference and technical workshop also offers 48 breakout sessions covering a variety of topics including new online filing of Form GW-1, "Groundwater Protection Determination Request Form;" processing the Form T-4, "Application for Permit to Operate a Pipeline in Texas and mapping requirements; new online filing of Statewide Rule 13 Surface Casing Exceptions; and Legal Enforcement Hearings. The fee for the conference is $400 per person if registered by June 12 and $475 per person if registered by July 1, which is when registration closes. Registration is limited to 500 participants. For information, visit the commission website.

At least three people were injured Wednesday when a tornado hit a natural gas drilling rig near the town of Canadian, TX, 100 miles northeast of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle at about 5:00 p.m. CDT Wednesday. "A tornado touched down at Apache [Corp.] Rig 121 northwest of Canadian, causing three injuries," the Hemphill County Sheriff's Office said. "Deputies, firefighters and EMS [emergency medical services] did response, and the subjects were transported to the local hospital and from there to Amarillo...Additionally, we had a structure fire caused by lightning along with two tank battery fires also caused by lightning. No injuries were reported at these scenes." An Apache spokesman said the injured are three Weatherford contractors. “All other personnel are safe and accounted for. The well is secured and no other damage was reported,” he said.

Renewable energy accounted for 9.8% of domestic energy consumption in the United States last year, its highest share since the 1930s, when wood was a much larger contributor to the U.S. energy supply, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewable use grew an average of 5% annually between 2001 and 2014. EIA's report attributed the growth to the increased use of wind, solar and biofuels; however, hydroelectric power continued to be the largest source of renewables. Slightly more than half of the renewables were used to generate electricity; 24% were used in industrial applications; and another 13% went to transportation (ethanol and other liquid biofuels).