SAN ANTONIO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today noted key advancements and on-going efforts by the Railroad Commission to improve the agency’s technological infrastructure at the 6th Annual Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference in San Antonio.
“Technology plays a critical role in allowing us to do our job in a more efficient and effective manner, facilitating better service at less cost for the public and industry,” Craddick said. “The Commission collects and houses massive amounts of data. We recognized it was time to bring the agency into the 21st century, and we are making great strides improving outdated systems and antiquated processes.”
The Information Technology Modernization Program (ITMP), a multi-biennia effort, was launched in January 2013. The legislature appropriated $24.7 million to the Railroad Commission in the 83rd Legislative Session and work began on ITMP in September 2013.
“With the ITMP effort, we have spent the last four and half years implementing extensive upgrades across the agency,” Craddick said. “The changes we have made reducing paper filings, automating processes and bringing more data online for public use are saving countless hours of staff time for the state and substantial dollars for industry that can instead be used to hire workers, invest in technology and produce more energy in Texas.
“Our technological capabilities have improved but there is still plenty to do,” Craddick said. “This past session, the Legislature appropriated $3 million to the agency to establish an Inspection and Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System. In addition to that project, this year, we plan to implement the online filing of well plugging forms. We will continue to look for ways to advance technology and become more efficient across the board.”
Completed ITMP items include:
- Performance improvements to queries for drilling permits, production reports and statewide field rules;
- Establishment of online filing processes for well status reports, groundwater letters, Rule 13 exceptions, pipeline permits, well logs and identifying gatherers and purchasers;
- Improvements to efficiencies in processes for issuing drilling permits, submitting completion information and utilizing the RRC Payment Portal;
- Launch of new internal applications, including Surface Mining permitting and Oil and Gas inspection management;
- Launch of a new public GIS viewer;
- Improved usability and accessibility of all agency IT applications;
- Redesign of the Railroad Commission public website and RRC Online home page;
- Migration of RRC Online and other critical systems to the state data center, and;
- Deployment of Windows 7, Office 2016 and MS Cloud email services to staff.
Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.