December 2, 2022
MIDLAND – Members of the media from across the Lone Star State participated in a tour of West Texas oil and natural gas facilities. The tour, hosted by the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA), included facilities at Diamondback Energy and Ovintiv. Attendees were able to hear about and see firsthand the companies’ weatherization plans and procedures, with detailed explanations provided by Diamondback Energy’s Facilities Engineering Supervisor Arica Gonzalez and Ovintiv’s Senior Manager of Permian Production Mike Schubert.
Noting why TXOGA made it a priority to organize yesterday’s tour, TXOGA President Todd Staples said, “Demand at home and from around the world continues to grow for Texas oil and natural gas, so it’s important to demonstrate the lengths that every sector of the industry goes to be prepared for weather and other emergencies. Tour participants saw examples of operators’ extensive planning and preparations for extreme weather, which can include methanol injections, heat tracing, insulation to prevent freezing, shelters, wind walls, and for many assets, around the clock monitoring. Thank you to the personnel at Diamondback Energy and Ovintiv for opening their facilities and sharing their expertise about these vital preparedness efforts.”
Staples noted that even with preparedness plans in place, Winter Storm Uri taught painful lessons, including operators in the natural gas supply chain for natural gas power plants. “One of the most profound lessons was that much of our industry was not eligible for critical load (CL) designation to maintain power during an electricity load shed event,” he said. “Fortunately, Texas lawmakers corrected this error, and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) now has a process that mandates CL designation for the most critical natural gas assets and related systems. Starting December 1st, operators with facilities that are required to weatherize will share their emergency preparedness plans with the RRC, including considerations for how each operator will protect their employees, the environment and their equipment when implementing their plans.”
Staples concluded, “A reliable electricity grid is vital to the oil and natural gas industry. Not only are we producers of irreplaceable fuels, but the industry includes some of the biggest electricity consumers in the state. Just like every homeowner, our processing plants, refineries, and production cannot function without electricity. Our ability to operate is directly tied to our ability to meet the nation and the world’s energy needs, no matter the temperature, and industry is doing its part to ensure that we are winter ready.”
Founded in 1919, TXOGA is the oldest and largest oil and gas trade association in Texas representing every facet of the industry.