Railroad commissioner calls out state's worst, best companies for natural gas flaring

Published: Feb. 18, 2020 at 6:59 PM CST
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One of Texas’ oil and gas regulators on Tuesday defended the state’s high rate of natural gas flaring, but named companies that burn off the most gas and said he would hold public meetings on the controversial practice.

Ryan Sitton, one of three elected oil and gas regulators, said Texas’ flaring intensity is lower than other oil-producing areas, including North Dakota, Iran, Iraq and Russia. Its flare volumes - around 650,000 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) in 2018 - are “high for recent history” but do not surpass some years in the 1950s, according to Sitton’s report.

EP Energy, Endeavor Energy Resources, Surge Operating and Jagged Peak Energy had the state’s highest rates of “flaring intensity,” a measurement of flaring volume against oil production, according to the report. The companies could not be reached immediately for comment, but Jagged Peak was recently purchased by Parsley Energy, whose chief executive has criticized Jagged Peak’s high flaring rates.

Companies with the lowest flaring intensity in Texas included Pioneer Natural Resources, EOG Resources, ConocoPhillips and Chesapeake Energy Corp.