The Wise Report - February 6, 2016

The Wise Report

Henry M. Wise, P.G.

February 6, 2013


The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) adopts amendments to§§3.5, 3.31, 3.38, 3.40, 3.45, 3.51, 3.52 and 3.86, relating to Application To Drill, Deepen, Reenter, or Plug Back; Gas Reservoirs and Gas Well Allowable; Well Densities; Assignment of Acreage to Pooled Development and Proration Units; Oil Allowables; Oil Potential Test Forms Required; Oil Well Allowable Production; and Horizontal Drainhole Wells, respectively. Sections 3.5, 3.31, 3.38, 3.40, 3.45, 3.51 and 3.52 are adopted without changes, and §3.86 is adopted with changes from the proposed text as published in the November 6, 2015, issue of the Texas Register (40 TexReg 7766).


The RRC adopts the amendments to establish a procedure for designating certain fields as unconventional fracture treated fields ("UFT fields"). A UFT field is a field in which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing must be used in order to recover resources from all or part of the field and which is developed using either vertical or horizontal drilling techniques. This designation includes shale formations, such as the Eagle Ford and Barnett Shale, in which the drainage of a wellbore is based upon the area reached by the hydraulic fracturing treatments rather than conventional flow patterns. The substantive amendments to incorporate this concept are adopted in §3.86(i) - (l), with supporting and conforming amendments proposed in the other sections.


Additionally, the RRC adopts amendments to update various Commission requirements related to the drilling of horizontal drainhole wells as defined in §3.86(a)(5). The Commission adopts these amendments to incorporate common special field rule provisions, which apply on a field-by-field basis, into rules that apply statewide. The amendments will reduce and simplify field rule hearings, resulting in a more efficient regulatory process. The amendments would implement requirements related to the following: (1) take points through which a horizontal drainhole can be produced; (2) notification for off-lease penetration points when the proposed horizontal drainhole will penetrate the productive formation at a point not on the applicant's lease, pooled unit or developmental tract; (3) the creation and production of a structure known as a "stacked lateral" wellbore (a series of horizontal drainholes producing from the same geographical area at differing depths); and (4) plats for permitting, drilling and completion of horizontal wells.


Further, the RRC adopts non-substantive amendments to clarify, update, and conform the rules to current RRC practice.  For more information go to:


The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) adopgs amendments to §3.16, relating to Log and Completion or Plugging Report, without changes to the proposed text as published in the December 4, 2015, issue of the Texas Register (40 TexReg 8510).  The amendments reflect changes in Texas statutes relating to confidentiality of well logs.  For more information go to:


Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Wise Report



Henry M. Wise, PG
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Government Update