S&P Global: Growing problems with orphaned, abandoned wells challenges oil industry

July 9 — In Texas, the Railroad Commission is charged with plugging orphaned wells, which in part entails shutting them down and filling the wellbores with cement. Even then, some plugged wells can spring leaks without oversight, because the plugging rules were much more lax decades ago. Texas’ well-plugging rules first went into effect in 1976 and have been amended more than 20 times since, ranging from plugging techniques to the types of cement, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

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WFAA: ERCOT promises thorough investigation of June power plant outages

July 9 — About 9,000 of the 12,000 megawatts that went offline were due to unplanned mechanical failures at coal, natural gas or nuclear plants, meaning something broke and had to come offline for repair.



Austin American-Statesman: ERCOT’s June power grid scare triggered by some of same plants that failed in February

July 9 — Overall, there were nearly 1,300 unplanned outages at generation units during the month of June, although that figure includes multiple outages reported for the same generators. Many more individual generation units — a total of 585 — suffered outages or reduced output during the February freeze than the 155 that went offline June 12-17.

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San Antonio Report: Facing power grid anxiety, Texans are buying generators and bracing for blackouts

July 4 — Business used to be “slow-moving,” Ford said. That started to changed in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic reached Texas and people began panic buying. Then came February 2021, and the winter storm disaster that some call “Snowvid,” when 4.5 million households lost power, many for multiple days in temperatures that barely hovered above zero degrees.





Wall Street Journal: Are Power Companies Playing Texas Hold’em?

July 5 — Supply is tight on the grid even before peak summer heat. Though genuine wear and tear could be the culprit, market manipulation isn’t out of the question.


Texas Tribune: Gov. Abbott tells regulators to encourage building more power plants, penalize renewable energy

July 6 — In a letter to the Public Utility Commission, Abbott directed the three-person board of directors, who he appoints, to take action that would require renewable energy companies to pay for power when wind and solar aren’t able to provide it to the state’s main power grid, echoing a move state lawmakers rejected in May.


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech heads collaboration to study impact, technology necessary for recycling of produced water

July 8 — As one of the leading agricultural research institutions in the U.S., Texas Tech  will serve as the administrator for the newly created Texas Produced Water Consortium, a collaborative effort to explore options, alternatives and potential economic impacts for the billions of gallons of produced water in Texas each year.


KHOU: ERCOT releases list of summer outages

July 7 — At least 224 of those outages happened from June 14 to June 18 when Texans were urged to conserve energy.


KUT: The Texas Grid Is Not On The Special Session’s Agenda. Here Are Some Ideas Lawmakers Could Have Discussed.

July 8 — Gas suppliers failed to get fuel to power plants during the storm. That was one of the main causes of the blackout. The astonishing increase in natural gas prices during the freeze has also led to numerous lawsuits and will mean higher utility bills for customers for decades to come. The fallout has led some to suggest that increased oversight of the gas markets and industry could be helpful.