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A pump jack works to extract oil and gas from a well in Wyoming's Niobrara shale
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Huge shortage of well inspectors leaves many unmonitored

Maybe becoming a well inspector is your next job. The Houston Chronicle reported today that several thousand wells just haven’t been checked recently. Not because oil and gas operations are so efficient that there are never any mistakes. But because there just aren’t enough inspectors to go around. Commissioners report that approximately 65 percent of wells haven’t been inspected for at least five years.

“The Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, says it not only has a severe shortage of inspectors – just 158 for 435,000 wells – but also antiquated computer systems that make it nearly impossible to track whether wells and their owners have histories of violating state rules and regulations.”

The Chronicle reported that the Railroad Commission is seeking a special appropriation of about $45 million from the Legislature to hire more inspectors, upgrade its technology and reduce the inspections backlog, among other things. The goal is to inspect every well at least once every five years and make data more accessible to the commission and the public.

Read more at The Houston Chronicle…

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