The exponential increase in flaring for economic reasons has become the prime mover in the current natural gas flaring discussion. For instance, from 2010 to 2019 the Texas Railroad Commission reported a 20X increase in flaring permit applications, going from approximately 300 in 2010 to 7000 in 2019. Those are big numbers, but data always needs to be kept in context. As of 2019 data, there were approximately 265,000 producing wells in the State of Texas. Against this total, the 7000 looks less staggering.
We previously covered the basics of flaring and venting, as well as took a look at where the US sits in regard to the rest of the world in terms of flared volumes. Now let’s take a deeper look at why we flare or vent in the first place.
Natural gas flaring is a topic that captured everyone’s attention over the past few years, and with good reason. Estimates vary, but here are a few numbers that seem to grab everyone’s attention:
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Having your work cited by the Texas Supreme Court in a majority opinion is among the highest honors a lawyer can enjoy. In their recent decision in Murphy Exploration & Prod. Company – USA v. Adams, the Texas Supreme Court cited my 2013 St. Mary’s Law Review article “Old Oil and New Laws”as authority that Texas cannot blindly apply old laws to new facts; rather, oil and gas law must adapt in order to stay relevant to a modernizing oil and gas industry.