The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is gearing up for increased oil and gas drilling throughout 2017.
Chairman Christi Craddick spent some time in Dallas last week, discussing the state’s oil and gas outlook for 2017 with leaders of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Craddick says she is optimistic about the industry, but is aware the agency needs to be prepared for growth.
“We know from previous downturns that when the oil and gas industry ramps up, it ramps up quickly,” Craddick said. “We must be fully staffed and prepared for an uptick in industry activity. I am optimistic about oil and gas production growth in Texas this year, but look forward to seeing a continued rise in permitting and new drilling reports before we expect a significant shift within the industry. Until then, we will continue to move resources planned for permitting to other areas of the agency as needed.”
Craddick went on to affirm the importance of the agencies role in providing for public safety, explained that oil and gas production accounts for more than 30% of our state’s overall economy.
The Railroad Commission of Texas will be presenting its 2018-19 biennium budget request to legislators as they meet for the 85th Legislative Session. Though the agency is funded mostly by oil and gas activity, Craddick is looking for ways to augment the falling revenue, which has taken a toll on the agency’s personnel department. She said the agency’s number of employees drop from 1500 in the 1990’s to 690 today. The jobs shortage presents a huge challenge for the agency, because the work still has to be done.