We alerted you on Tuesday (3/31) that Pioneer Natural Resources U.S.A., Inc. (“Pioneer”) and Parsley Energy, Inc. (“Parsley”) had asked the Texas Railroad Commission (“RRC”) to hold a hearing to consider whether current oil production in Texas exceeds market demand (thereby constituting “waste” under the relevant statutes) and, if so, to order limits on oil production in Texas. In a webcast yesterday, Commissioner Ryan Sitton indicated that the RRC was planning to hold some sort of meeting in response and was targeting April 14th. Today, the RRC confirmed that it will hold a virtual conference on Tuesday, April 14th at 9:30 am Central Time.
The meeting will be “virtual” in the sense that there will be no physical gathering at the RRC. Participation will be by webcast. The webcast can be accessed at the RRC website (https://rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/open-meetings) or at the AdminMonitor website (http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/rrc/open_meeting/).
The RRC notice states that the meeting is not a “hearing” under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 2001 of the Texas Government Code (“TAPA”). That distinction reduces the amount of advanced notice required for the meeting (in the absence of a finding of emergency), but it may also limit what the RRC is able to do in the way of making findings of fact or issuing any order. Doing either of those things (making findings or issuing an order) may require the RRC to formally hold a hearing under the TAPA.
The Commission will receive written comments at [email protected]. Comments must be submitted by 5:00 pm Central on Wednesday, April 8th. Comments must include (1) the commenter’s name and affiliation, (b) the commenter’s address, (c) the commenter’s phone number, and (d) whom the commenter represents.
The RRC plans to review the filed comments and invite some commenters to testify live during the hearing. Those invited to testify live will receive further technical instructions on how to connect to the meeting in a way that will allow them to participate from a remote location. The RRC will post a list of those who will testify live, and the order of testimony, on the RRC website on Monday, April 13th.
The RRC’s official notice of the meeting may be found here: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/pubomquery$omquery.QueryViewByKey?P_OM_ID=224582&Z_CHK=32312.Note: This is an update to a previous post. Please click here to view the post from 3/31.