LOGA Industry Report - Fall 2015 - (Page 16)

COMMENTS from The commISSIoner agency Working to Make a Better Future for oil and Gas let James H. "Jim" Welsh Commissioner of Conservation me begin my report by giving a quick, big-picture perspective on oil and gas permitting activity in the state. Thus far in 2015, oil and gas permitting activity appears noticeably less than what we have seen in the past three years. In 2012, we permitted 1,581 wells, followed by 1,576 in 2013, and 1,410 in 2014. Through the end of June this year, we have issued 313 drilling permits, which represents about a 59 percent decrease over the total from the same period last year. Sixty-eight of these drilling permits to date have been for wells in the Haynesville Shale. Only two drilling permits so far have been for wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. That's down from the 12 TMS drilling permits we issued in 2014. Still, interest in the TMS has been strong among some operators, and its development is still attracting considerable attention from the media. We will continue to monitor TMS evolution closely. In particular, we want to make sure that water use in the TMS for rig supply and hydraulic fracture is consistent with the management practices we supported in the Haynesville Shale, of using surface water sources when readily available, and in concurrence with the state's voluntary Surface Water Management Act. While overall oil and gas activity in the state remains diminished so far, the Office of Conservation itself has had an exceedingly vigorous year, with major regulatory actions and changes either already completed or just getting underway that will impact how this agency works with the state's oil and gas industry in the future. Specifically, we have revamped our inspection and enforcement procedures and we have made important additions to our general operating rules and regulations. In the area of enforcement, the agency has averaged more than 26,000 different types of inspections annually for the past several years. However, in response to our 16 | loGa INDUSTRY REPORT | Fall 2015 own internal reviews and at the suggestion of the Legislative Auditor, we have asked for and received via a regulatory fee increase, additional resources this year to enhance our overall inspection regime and especially to prevent any backlog of un-inspected wells. In fact, we are on track this year to make more than 20,000 well inspections alone, not counting site assessments. This strong emphasis on overall compliance and enforcement will continue to be an important feature of the Office of Conservation's work going forward. Another major change during the past year has come with the comprehensive overhaul of the state's solution mining and cavern storage regulations. The new rules the agency promulgated in February 2014 not only affect any future permitted caverns but will also apply to the more than 280 existing solution mining and storage caverns within Louisiana, effective February 2015. We have established setback distances from the salt periphery, along with spacing requirements between caverns. And, for the first time, the actual structure and stability of the salt stock and surrounding geology will be evaluated as part of the permitting process. Also, we were successful in the Legislature this year in having a new "expedited permit law" passed and signed by the Governor. This new law will hopefully provide a voluntary procedure to speed up our application review process to reach final permit decisions. We also have made significant changes in other aspects of the oil and gas regulatory program. Most important, earlier this year we amended our old rules with regard to financial securities and future utility wells in order to increase funding for the proper, responsible, and timely plug-andabandonment of wells. We published a notice regarding this rule change in the Louisiana Register, finalizing these Rules effective Aug. 1, 2015.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LOGA Industry Report - Fall 2015

Chairman’s Corner
President’s Perspective
North Louisiana Notes
Comments from the Commissioner
From the DNR Secretary’s Desk
From the LDWF Secretary’s Desk
Comments from Congress
Legislator Profile: Senator H. Neil Riser
LOUISIANA GUBERNATORIOL RACE QUIET SO FAR
IT'S LOUISIANA'S FAVORITE SEASON- ELECTION SEASON!
LEGISLATIVE LANES TO VICTORY
LOGPAC ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS
THE COTTON VALLEY: A PLAY THAT'S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME
Reflections on the Ever-Changing Oil and Gas Industry
CAMERON LNG NEW LIQUEFACTION FACILITIES A WIN-WIN
Court Watch: A Silver Lining in the BP Settlement
LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE PASSES NEW LAW ON DRILLING UNITS
A SUMMER OF ENERGY DISCONTENT IN WASHINGTON DC
WEATHERING THE STROM, FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE
LAGCOE 2015
OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTINUED LAWSUIT REFORM
Leadership Development: EXCELERANT
Workforce Development: Illustrating Industry Support for STEM Education
4th Annual LOGA Sporting Clays
2015 LAGCOE Open Golf Tournament
Oilfield Service Auction Preview
Member Services Spotlight: From Websites to Mobile Apps, Envoc is Making ‘A Better Reality’ for Clients
Petroleum Facts at a Glance
New Members
Index of Advertisers/ Advertisers.com

LOGA Industry Report - Fall 2015

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