I hesitate in writing this... but it's not shameful to ask when seeking knowledge. Would someone please offer a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the Texas Railroad Commission web site? First, I'd like to know how find activity. If all I know is the name of the o/g company... the county/district... what's my next step or steps? Just looking for well development, production reports... division of ownership... anything that would help. Thanks!
There have been very recent improvements to the database which make a number of simple searches much easier and intuitive. I know a little about it but Julie knows a good bit more. I think you should reach out to her and I think that the discussion, suggestions and any tutorials be posted not on the Main Page but on the RRC of Texas Help Group page. That will not only keep the discussion from rotating off the Main Page but will send a notice email to all the group members. Use this link and start a new discussion there. I'll let Julie know.
No one should be ashamed or hesitant to ask any question. This mineral business is arcane and complex. GHS was made for members to ask questions in addition to sharing information. The more knowledgeable members are, the greater chance that they will be helpful for all members.
Thanks, I'll look for the RRC of Texas Helps Group page. I didn't know it existed. Thanks!
Skip, I went to "groups".... then to Texas... then cursored down to the RRC help site... just before you get to government links... and got a... "this does not exist". I'll keep poking around.
No need to waste time poking around, just use the link I posted above. It works for me, let me know if it does not for you.
Hi, JHH. I started this page back before RRC started working on bringing the agency into the 20th century. No, I didn't get the wrong century, either. Circa 2008... RRC still had district records stored in the district on either microfilm, microfiche or magnetic tape. Nothing was digitized and it was impossible for the average mineral owner to find anything without intense study to first figure out where the record was stored and then how to find it on whichever medium it might be stored on.
They made a major leap by 2010 by beginning the process of getting operators to use a new digital system where they could file their well applications online. They started that process in District 6 because we had the most activity of any district in the state at that time thanks to the Haynesville Shale.
I could go on and on about all the changes that have been implemented in the last decade because there have been many. The most important one is that now all the records are stored digitally in Austin and all of the old film, fiche and tape records are being imaged and stored there, as well, in a central records depository.
You only need to save one link now to access all of the searches which are, generally speaking, of interest to mineral owners. That is the Online Research Query screen. Up near the top you will find links to the completions query page and the drilling permit application query page.
Here's the process: Permit (W-1), Completion (G-1 or W-2), Production (PR)... simple, right? Not really. There is a lot of stuff that goes on at RRC that the general public is never aware of.
Operators file applications for New Drills, Re-entries and Re-completions. They are issued a W-1 permit to drill once all the departments have signed off on the paperwork. Until the application is approved, it will appear in the search results as pending and there will be only the application start date on the results page. Once approved there will be an approved date also on the search results landing page and the W-1 page.
You may not see any other indication that some outfit intends to drill a well until they actually file an Initial Potential (G-1 for gas, W-2 for oil) report. You may see an amendment to the original permit filed if there is a need to notice RRC of a change in one of the aspects of the W-1 such as moves of one of the major points located on the original permit. Those are surface location (SL) on vertical wells and SL, Penetration Point (PP), First Take Point (FTP or 1TP), Last Take Point (LTP) and Bottom Hole Location (BHL) on directional or horizontal profile wells, distances to lease lines and so on. New Drill permits are good for two years. Once the well is spudded then the operator will notify RRC and eventually the spud date and surface casing date will be posted online. If there are amendments filed on a permit you may have to look at all of them to find the spud date.
There are two numbers associated with any W-1 that you should note for future searches. The first is the API number (the first three digits designate the county and the last five digits indicate the number of wells permitted in that county). The API # is used by the mapping department and the last five numbers will appear on the GIS map next to the well location icon. The other is the permit number. You will find this on the W-1 page for that well in the upper left corner and it also appears on the search results page if you use the W-1 query to find your well.
The only way to know if a well is being drilled, without going to a source outside of RRC, is to look at the permit page to see if a spud date has been posted.
After a well is completed an Initial Potential test will be done and the corresponding paperwork will be filed with RRC. You can find that by using the completions query. That search page looks intimidating but always remember, when searching RRC, that Less is More when it comes to entering search terms. If you try to enter everything you know about a particular well and you get one item wrong on the form... you will get no results. Everything is boolean and every term must be TRUE or you get nothing in results. If you only want to know about one well then type in only the API # or the permit # and hit enter.
If you want to know about every well an operator has filed completions on in a particular county then choose the county of interest (drop down list) and either enter the operator number, if you know it, or search for the operator number, (it's easiest to just note the operator number on the W-1 when you are writing down the API and permit number) and hit enter. You will get a list of every well completed by that operator in that county. You can sort the search results by clicking the header at the top of each column... API number, Permit number, and so on. Lots of choices but the easiest may be to sort the lease names alphabetically and then scroll down until you find what you are looking for. Before you scroll, though, go to the "view pages" box (upper right just above search results) and select "View All". Then you can scroll through all results without flipping through pages.
Once completion paperwork has been submitted then production can be reported. Until all the paperwork is approved... any production reported for a well will be found by searching "pending" production on the Production Reports Query (Form PR). The earliest reports will be found by using the second search box on this form. Enter the operator number, the district, and the month to be searched. You can only search here by one month at a time. The last month available will be two months prior to the month we are in at that moment. It's June now and you can find reports for April, for example. Eventually, the data returned on this operator search gets migrated to each well and then it can be found using the first search box on this query by setting it to "pending" and entering the permit number. That usually takes a couple of weeks.
Production will appear as "pending" until all the completion paperwork has been approved and a Lease ID number assigned. Then you can find production for a particular well by using the first search box and entering the Lease ID Number (another number to put in your notes with the API, Permit and Operator numbers). It will no longer be found in searching by operator for pending production.
Please note: there are three different production query search forms available on the main query landing page. Results from either of the first two always lag a month behind the results found using the third search option. Eventually... they all have the same data but it is migrated manually and it takes a while for everything to be caught up.
After a well is assigned a Lease ID number, that number appears in parenthesis under the well Lease name on a permit search. There are a number of avenues of search available to get to the same data on RRC. I will save that for a future post.
Good tutorial. Please, one of you guys move a copy to the RRC of Texas Help Group so that others may find easily it once it rotates off the Main Page.
VERY NICE... THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Also the RRC GIS viewer map can be very quick and helpful if you want to see well activity, completed and permitted, in a
particular area. Just click on the map and it will enlarge each time. Note the icons at top of page magnifying glass etc. that have drop downs, where you can enter county, Abstract # etc. for quick search. The icon with i in circle drop down can select wells, pipelines, etc. in dropdown. Can click on well locations and info will appear on pop up wherein can select production, drilling permits, etc.
Thanks for that! I'll take a look now.