September 21, 2017
The executive director of the Railroad Commission of Texas has resigned, effective November 7th.
In a letter to the commission, Kimberly Corley referred to a meeting on Monday with RRC chair Christi Craddick that was the topic of a heated exchange between commissioners at their Tuesday meeting.
In that meeting, ommissioner Ryan Sitton questioned why he was not included in the decision to allow — or force — Corley to resign, with Sitton threatening to ask the state attorney general for an opinion on whether the action was a violation of the Texas Open Meeings Act.
Thursday, Sitton indeed wrote for the AG’s opinion, contending that such a firing might require an open meeting to request public discussion.
In a statement Thursday, Craddick said the commission “needed to move in a different direction under the leadership of the Commissioners.
“I had a private conversation with the executive director regarding this matter.
“My conversation took place under the advisement of counsel and was compliant with all applicable law.
“I will discuss my views on this matter in an upcoming open meeting where the subject of the issue has been properly posted in order to provide sufficient notice to the public.
Commissioner Wayne Christian stated Thursday that he believes “it is important to assure the public that I prioritize transparency and will work to ensure our agency operates at the highest standard legally and morally,
By Mike Shiloh
September 21, 2017
AUSTIN – The Texas Natural Gas Foundation (TXNG) announced today the latest motor fuel tax figures from the Texas Comptroller. Findings show natural gas vehicle sales continue to climb. Tax collections as of Aug 31, the end of the state’s fiscal year, registered a 17 percent increase over the previous year. New fleets, such as Fort Bend ISD, Houston Metro and United Foods contributed to the growth in demand statewide.
This fiscal year’s results include fuel for the vehicles that responded to Hurricane Harvey. For example, the integrity of the natural gas pipelines allowed Freedom CNG to fuel METRO transit buses, Houston Distributing Trucks, Waste Corporation garbage trucks, AT&T service vehicles and many other fleets in Houston after the storm, which significantly helped with remediation efforts.
“Major Texas fleets such as Central Freight and UPS depended on their natural gas vehicles to keep deliveries coming to the Gulf Coast,” said State Representative Jason Isaac, TXNG President. “Houston-area natural gas prices remained stable and refueling stations were open during and after the storm.”
Isaac reported tax revenue from sales of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) motor fuel totaled $5,371,331 for the year. “At 15 cents per gallon equivalent, $5,371,331 of motor fuel tax equates to the sale of 35.8 million gallon equivalents of natural gas in the past year,” Isaac said. “That doesn’t count fuel consumed by municipal and transit fleets, which are tax-exempt and make up approximately a third of natural gas vehicles. If you add their estimated use, natural gas motor fuel use equates to about 47.6 million gallons of Texas natural gas being utilized to benefit our economy, and providing funds to our economic stabilization fund, roads, and schools.”
A “gallon equivalent” is the amount of CNG or LNG with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel.
“The latest studies show that natural gas vehicles are ultraclean compared to their diesel counterparts, especially in applications like school buses and stop-and-go traffic,” noted Isaac. “The Texas legislature recently approved several incentive programs to encourage fleet managers make the transition.”
Fleet managers interested in transitioning to natural gas, or expanding their current use, should visit the TXNG website, www.txng.org, for information on the latest incentives and regulatory changes.
The Texas Natural Gas Foundation was founded to increase public awareness, support, and knowledge of the benefits of using Texas’ natural gas and its vital role in energy security, economic growth and benefits to the environment. For more information, visit www.txng.org.
By Texas Natural Gas Foundation
September 21, 2017
Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday that its board had authorized a $2.5 billion share repurchase program through 2018, Reuters reported.
The company’s shares were up nearly 5% at $46.91 in early Thursday morning after-market trading.
Marathon Oil told a Texas federal court Tuesday that it has agreed to pay a group of limited partners $33.1 million to settle claims that the company cheated them out of millions in foreign tax credits in connection with a gas processing plant in Equatorial Guinea, Law 360 reported Wednesday.
The oil company and 17 partners filed a joint motion to confirm an International Centre for Dispute Resolution award on consent ending allegations against the company of breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
September 20, 2017
AMARILLO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today addressed RRC’s emphasis on common sense energy regulation at the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association (PPROA) 88thConvention and Annual Meeting in Amarillo.
“Thank you to all of you who invest in the business of energy development, an industry that is critical to the economic success of our state and our country,” Craddick said. “Thanks to your efforts, our state’s energy producers, big and small, are setting the standard for American energy production, and Texas’ Panhandle producers play an important role.
“Even through the recent downturn, the Texas oil and gas industry has shown extraordinary resilience,” Craddick said. “When times were tough, the industry did what it does best – innovate. Because of your ingenuity, we’re seeing industry growth today despite the price of oil. I will ensure our rules at the Railroad Commission will allow you to continue to safely find ways to grow and thrive.”
PPROA was founded in 1929 as an industry association advocating on behalf of oil and gas producers, mineral royalty owners and industry support companies in the Texas Panhandle, Western Oklahoma and Southwestern Kansas.
By Railroad Commission of Texas
September 20, 2017
US commercial crude oil storage jumped by 4.6 million barrels last week, according to Wednesday’s estimate from the Energy Information Administraton, to a total of nearly 473 million barrels.
Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 2.1 million barrels and distillates were down by 5.7 million, with propane inventories off by 1.4 million.
Crude stockpiles were up by nearly six million barrels the previous week, with gasoline inventories down 8.4 million barrels.
The American Petroleum Institute Tuesday reported an increase of 1.4 million barrels in crude.
Refinery utilization gained 5.5%, rising to 83.2 percent of total capacity while crude runs were up by 1.1 million bpd, the EIA said.
Just before Hurricane Harvey, refinery utilization was at 96.6%, the highest in 12 years.