The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is adding quarterly oil and gas enforcement data to its website. Beginning with the first quarter fiscal 2017 report, new enforcement information will include the numbers of oil and gas facility inspections with no violation; statewide oil and gas rule violations; major statewide oil and gas rule violations; and district-initiated severance/seal orders. RRC also is updating its definition of “major” oil and gas violations. A major violation now is defined as “a safety or pollution-related violation that causes a significant impact to public safety or the environment, is accompanied by conditions that indicate a significant impact to public safety or the environment is imminent, or is the result of deliberate disregard of commission rules and regulations related to public safety or environmental protection.” Also, major violations are now being reported at the time of discovery in the field rather than at the time of referral for penalty action, as recommended by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Enforcement data can be found on the commission website.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. midstream master limited partnership MPLX LP has closed its previously announced transaction to acquire a partial indirect equity interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project and other Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) crude oil pipeline projects that are part of the Bakken Pipeline System. MPLX is doing the transaction through a joint venture (JV) with Enbridge Energy Partners LP. MPLX contributed $500 million of the $2 billion the JV paid for a 36.75% indirect equity interest in the Bakken Pipeline System from ETP and its partner Sunoco Logistics Partners LP.