GUEST VIEW: Railroad Commission gets it right for public safety in Midland-Odessa

By D. Kirk Edwards

I am reading over the new voluntary guidelines formulated due to the seismic events happening in the city limits of both Midland and Odessa that were just published by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). I am proud of the RRC for offering this temporary solution to see if by limiting new disposal wells to come on in those areas and reducing the maximum volumes in each well to 10,000 barrels per day, we will see, like Oklahoma did, a quick end to the earthquakes that are happening in our towns. This isn’t an economic problem for our oil and gas industry, it is now a safety issue and the RRC stepped up to address it head on. I have been incredibly impressed with the RRC staff and their ability to map the faults and disposal volumes and then mate those up to the exact areas where these quakes have been emanating from.

Hopefully all the disposal operators in these seismic areas will adhere immediately to the “voluntary” guidelines for the safety of all of us here in Midland and Odessa. If not, I hope the RRC and the Odessa American will do their best to list each month the companies that are not willing to do as asked and we can let the public sentiment and the RRC’s rule making authority for those disposal operators take over from there.

Great job Commissioners Craddick, Christian and Wright. You made the right decision in the right amount of time in the right spot.