Our Offices

Midland

P.O. Box 62228

Midland, TX 79711

Tel: (432) 563-2200

Fax: (432) 563-2213

Lafayette

P.O. Box 53525

Lafayette, La 70505-3525

Tel: (337) 572-9937

Fax: (337) 572-9938

Lindale

P.O. Box 2426

Lindale, Tx 75771

Tel: (903) 881-8390

Fax: (903) 881-8395

San Antonio Texas

Tel: (432) 631-4587

Background

Environmental due diligence has been performed by oil and gas companies for years to provide better value for the acquisition dollar. These inspections can benefit those purchasing and those selling their assets. The overall purpose of this due diligence effort is to acquire recognized safety and environmental conditions (RSEC) data. This data is utilized as a means for companies to assign monetary values to remediate any problem that is identified in the RSEC data. The data collected must be very thorough and sufficient to provide a clear picture of existing conditions in the field. Below are just a few examples of ways the data collected can be utilized by both parties:

  • Regulatory Compliance (i.e. SPCC, OSHA, EPA, etc.)
  • Environmental & Safety Liability Valuation
  • Corrections in Operational Process Deficiencies

When due diligence for oil and gas property acquisitions were first performed, a set of forms were utilized to collect all of the field data needed for a quality assessment. In addition to the field forms, historical documents were and regulatory reviews were performed to generate the findings of the overall assessment. This process was slow and meant that it could sometimes take months to generate the data needed for an important acquisition to be completed.

When Etech was formed in 2003 we realized if the data could be collected in a more efficient manner, we could significantly cut down the amount of time that it took to gather the data needed to complete these acquisitions. Etech also realized that a great deal of information needed to be collected. Therefore, Etech sought out to change the way this work was being performed.

Field Inspection

Etech’s database is a proprietary system utilized to collect information on a wide-variety of environmental and safety related compliance issues. Our typical approach to due diligence is to inspect every property that is part of the acquisition. This includes active producing wells and associated tank batteries, temporarily abandoned (TA) well sites and plugged and abandoned (P&A) well and tank battery sites.

Each site is inspected for potential RSEC’s, including but not limited to: Hydrocarbon & Produced Water Impacts, Chemical Spills, Wastes, Friable Materials, Open Impoundments, Compressors, Air Emission Sources & Controls, and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM). All of the equipment on each site is inspected for general condition, size and type, serial numbers (if present), color (vessels and tanks only) and the size and construction of any secondary containment(s). Our field inspection staff have extensive training and experience to evaluate any oil and gas field components.

The inspection also includes an assessment of basic safety conditions and compliance with applicable regulations governing warnings & labels, walking surfaces, housekeeping, signage, and other chemical and physical hazards. All of this information is entered into the database during the course of the inspection. In addition, the inspection team(s) will enter notations on other issues on the site such as the size of impacts, potential burial sites, and other general observation. Photographs are taken during the course of the inspection of site conditions and any issues that are observed.

Costs for corrective actions are entered into the database during the course of the inspection. The costs are developed based upon Etech’s extensive staff experience with remediation and corrective action compliance as well as regional costs collected for issues related to equipment replacement or repair. An extensive report QC process ensures that data collected in the field and monetary valuations are accurate and timely.

Program Compliance Inspection

Research is conducted on the compliance of the existing operator for compliance with applicable regulations of reasonably ascertainable records. This includes permits (air, NPDES, impoundments, etc.), mechanical integrity testing, Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures (SPCC) plans, and storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPP). Interviews are also conducted with the members of applicable regulatory agencies to obtain an overall picture of the operators’ record of compliance and determine if there are any outstanding violations or larger historical issues that may have occurred but are now closed.

Report Generation

Following the completion of the field inspection activities, the database is utilized to assist in generating the actual report. The database has been designed to bring specific information into a document which is then utilized to detail any site-specific issues. The report also includes applicable regulations for the region the inspection is conducted in and applicable federal regulations. Where a site is determined to be non-compliant with a specific regulation, the regulation is earmarked for each appropriate facility or area.

The database can be configured to report the total costs for mitigation of issues by lease, tank battery, or well site. The database can also generate a report based upon a cost limit value which is useful when performing due diligence on larger acquisitions. This is a more target-value based report which presents the issues and associated costs in summarized form. In all cases supportive documentation is provided from reports generated by the database including detail summary of the inspection for each lease, and cost detail summary. In addition the database can provide information that may be required for the completion of SPCC plans, equipment inventories, NORM inspection detail, and facility-well site latitude and longitudes.

Current Compliance

Etech works to stay abreast of issues all operators face from regulatory compliance. Since the inception of the first database, 23 major revisions have been made to address new and changing regulations. In doing so, Etech has developed and continues to maintain what we feel is one of the most efficient and detailed methods of performing due diligence on oil and gas production properties that can have multiple benefits to the purchaser.