State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Texas > Natural-resources-code > Title-3-oil-and-gas > Chapter-88-control-of-oil-property

NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS

SUBTITLE B. CONSERVATION AND REGULATION OF OIL AND GAS

CHAPTER 88. CONTROL OF OIL PROPERTY

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 88.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of Texas.

(2) "Governmental agent" or "governmental agency" means the

Railroad Commission of Texas and any other administrative

governmental board and governmental agent to which the

legislature delegates the duty of supervising the production of

oil and gas in the State of Texas.

(3) "Oil property" means a well producing oil, gas, or oil and

gas, and any group of such contiguous wells of any number owned,

operated, or controlled as a producing unit by the same person in

the same locality, and any leasehold estate to the extent that it

is owned, operated, and controlled by the same person.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2547, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

SUBCHAPTER B. RULES

Sec. 88.011. ADOPTION OF RULES. (a) The governmental agency

may promulgate and adopt rules:

(1) to provide for the method of measuring oil and gas produced

from any well in this state and to provide for the type of

measuring devices to be used in obtaining the measurement;

(2) for the inspection of all oil properties to ascertain that

the prescribed measuring devices are installed, are in accurate

working condition, and are being accurately used;

(3) to provide that no oil or gas is being permitted to leave

the possession of the producer without first being accurately

measured and an accurate record of production made and preserved;

(4) to provide that no oil is being produced from a well

producing both oil and gas without burning a flare or flares if

the installation and use of a flare or flares is required by the

terms of this chapter;

(5) for the keeping of complete and accurate records correctly

reflecting the amount of oil or gas or both produced from each

oil property each calendar day and the disposition and method of

disposition of all the oil and gas produced, and for the monthly

filing with the governmental agency of monthly reports accurately

reflecting the true facts with respect to all such matters; and

(6) for the inspection and examination by the governmental

agency, or its agents, servants, and employees, of all oil

properties and the records provided for in this chapter.

(b) The rules shall be adopted in the manner provided by law for

adoption of rules of the commission.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2547, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.012. RULES AND ORDERS RELATING TO RECORDS AND REPORTS.

The rules and orders of the governmental agency relating to

records and reports shall prescribe the form in which the records

and reports will be made and kept, but the records and reports

shall contain the data and information provided for in this

chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2548, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.013. NOTICE BY PUBLICATION. (a) When the governmental

agency adopts a rule under this chapter, the governmental agency

shall publish a complete copy of the rule once each day for three

consecutive days in three newspapers of general circulation in

the state, to be selected by the governmental agency.

(b) Notice of any amendment, repeal, alteration, or modification

of the order may be similarly adopted and will become effective

after similar notice.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2548, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

SUBCHAPTER C. PRACTICES PROHIBITED IN THE PRODUCTION OF OIL AND

GAS

Sec. 88.051. PRODUCTION PROHIBITED IN EXCESS OF ALLOWABLE

AMOUNT. No person owning, leasing, operating, producing, or

controlling an oil property or any oil well in this state may

produce or cause to be produced on any day from any oil property

or oil well any oil in excess of the amount allowed to be

produced each day from the oil property or oil well under an

order previously adopted by the governmental agency and in force

at the time.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2548, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.052. PROHIBITED PASSAGE FROM CONTROL OF PRODUCER WITHOUT

MEASUREMENT AND RECORD OF AMOUNT. No person owning, leasing,

operating, or controlling an oil property in this state may

permit the oil or gas produced to pass beyond the possession or

control of that person to the possession or control of any other

person without first accurately measuring the amount of the oil

or gas and making and preserving an accurate record of the

amount.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2548, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.053. PROHIBITED EVASION OR PREVENTION OF ACCURATE

MEASUREMENT. No person owning, leasing, operating, or

controlling an oil property in this state may use a method or

device to evade or prevent obtaining the accurate measurement as

provided in Section 88.052 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2548, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.0531. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A person who knowingly

violates Section 88.052 or 88.053 of this code commits an

offense.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor

unless the actor has been convicted previously under this

section, in which event the offense is a felony of the third

degree.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5231, ch. 960, Sec. 2, eff.

Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 88.054. PASSAGE FROM CONTROL OF PRODUCER PROHIBITED IF TANK

NOT UNDER HIS CONTROL. No person owning, leasing, operating, or

controlling an oil property may permit oil produced by him in

this state to pass from his possession or control to the

possession or control of any other person except from a tank or

tanks under the control of the person producing the oil.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2549, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.055. PRODUCTION PROHIBITED WITHOUT FLARE. If the gas

from a well producing both oil and gas is not trapped and used

and the gas is capable of being burned in a flare, no person

owning, leasing, operating, or controlling an oil property in

this state may produce oil from the well at any time without

simultaneously and continuously burning a flare to consume all

gas that otherwise would be permitted to escape into the open

air. The Railroad Commission of Texas shall have the authority to

grant exceptions to this section.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2549, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 1,

eff. June 14, 1989.

Sec. 88.056. IDENTIFYING SIGNS. Each oil property in this

state, each tank owned or controlled by such person to which the

property is connected, and each flare to which the property is

connected shall be posted at all times with a sign written in the

English language with letters at least one inch in height,

stating:

(1) the name of the owner of the property;

(2) the operator of the property;

(3) the number of acres contained in the property; and

(4) the name by which the property is commonly known and

identified.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2549, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

SUBCHAPTER D. INSPECTION AND EXAMINATION OF OIL PROPERTY

Sec. 88.091. ACCESS TO PROPERTY AND RECORDS. The governmental

agency shall have access at all times to:

(1) the oil property of all persons for inspection and

examination; and

(2) the records of all these persons for inspection,

examination, and audit.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2549, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.092. PROHIBITED INTERFERENCE WITH ACCESS AND INSPECTION.

No person may:

(1) refuse to permit the governmental agency, or an agent,

servant, representative, or employee of the governmental agency,

to have access to an oil property for inspection and examination;

(2) interfere with the inspection and examination;

(3) remove, tamper with, mutilate, or destroy a device, seal, or

meter on an oil property placed there or used in the inspection

and examination; or

(4) refuse to permit the governmental agency, or an agent,

servant, representative, or employee of the governmental agency,

to have access, for inspection, examination, and audit, to the

books, documents, and records pertaining to, used in connection

with, or required to be used in connection with an oil property.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2549, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.093. PROHIBITED EQUIPMENT OR ENCLOSURE. No person

owning, leasing, operating, or controlling an oil property in

this state may equip or enclose his oil property, or any part of

his oil property, in a manner that:

(1) prevents inspection and examination; or

(2) prevents an inspection and examination from revealing the

true facts with respect to:

(A) the amount of oil or oil and gas being produced from the oil

property;

(B) the manner in which the oil property is being operated; or

(C) the manner and method by which the production from the oil

property is produced, stored, or delivered from the possession or

control of that person.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2550, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.094. PROHIBITED GIFT OR GRATUITY. No person may

corruptly give, offer, or promise to give a member of the

governmental agency, chief supervisor, deputy supervisor, or any

agent or employee of the governmental agency a gift or gratuity

with intent to influence the officer or person in his acts or

conduct with respect to:

(1) enforcing any provision of the law applicable to oil and gas

in force at the time in this state;

(2) enforcing any order or rule of the governmental agency

adopted under the power and authority given to it; or

(3) the discharge of any duty imposed on him by the oil and gas

laws, orders, and rules duly promulgated and in force at the time

in this state.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2550, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

SUBCHAPTER E. ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES

Sec. 88.131. VENUE. The courts of the county in which the oil

property or any part of the oil property is located and with

respect to which a violation of the provisions of this chapter is

charged, the courts of Travis County, or the courts of the county

of the residence of any defendant, have jurisdiction of all

prosecutions for violations of the provisions of this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2550, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5251, ch. 967,

Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 88.132. SERVICE OF PROCESS. (a) In a suit or action

involving the enforcement of the conservation laws of this state

or the orders of the commission affecting the conservation of the

natural resources of this state, a Texas Ranger or an agent of

the commission may serve civil or judicial process, citation,

notice, warrant, subpoena, or writ, including process of every

character in contempt proceedings, the same and as fully as a

sheriff or constable of a county to whom the process, writ,

notice, citation, subpoena, or warrant might be directed could

within the limits of his own county.

(b) A ranger or an agent of the commission may serve the process

anywhere in the State of Texas although it may be directed to

"any sheriff or constable" of a particular county. He shall make

the same return as any other officer, sign his name, and add

under his name the title of "State Ranger" or "Agent, Railroad

Commission of Texas," as the case may be, which is sufficient to

make it valid if the writ otherwise is properly prepared.

(c) No fees are allowed the rangers or agents of the commission

other than their regular salary or compensation.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2550, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.133. RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLIANCE AND LIABILITY TO

PROSECUTION. The president of each corporation, the chief

managing executive of each association, all active members of

each firm and partnership, and all trustees of each trust subject

to the provisions of this chapter shall be responsible for the

compliance with the terms of this chapter by the corporation,

association, firm, partnership, or trust of which he is,

respectively, president, chief managing executive, member, or

trustee, and he shall be liable to prosecution under and subject

to the criminal penalties provided in this chapter for violations

of this chapter by the respective corporation, association, firm,

partnership, or trust of which he has actual knowledge or to

which he assents.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2551, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Sec. 88.134. PENALTIES. (a) A person who violates any of the

provisions of Sections 88.091 through 88.093 of this code, or any

person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of those

sections, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be

subject to a fine of not more than $500, or by confinement in the

county jail for not more than six months, or by both.

(b) A person who violates any other provision of this chapter

other than those covered by Subsection (a), a person who fails to

comply with any of the other terms of this chapter, a person who

fails to comply with the terms of a rule or order adopted by the

governmental agency under the terms of this chapter, or a person

who violates any of the rules or orders of the governmental

agency adopted under the provisions of this chapter on conviction

is considered guilty of a felony and on conviction shall be

punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal

Justice for a term of not less than two nor more than four years.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2551, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1977.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

87, Sec. 25.135, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 88.135. CIVIL PENALTIES AND INJUNCTIONS. In addition to

the powers specifically granted to the commission under this

chapter, the commission may enforce this chapter or any rule,

order, or permit of the commission adopted under this chapter in

the same manner and subject to the same conditions as provided by

Chapters 81 and 85 of this code, including recovering civil

penalties and seeking injunctive relief as provided by those

chapters.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5260, ch. 967, Sec. 7, eff.

Sept. 1, 1983.