Dec. 21 — The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator, collected nearly $8.6 million in fines from the oil, gas and pipeline operators in 2016, according to the commission’s year in review report released Tuesday.

The fines were nearly split between pipeline operators, at $4.5 million, and oil and gas operators, at $4 million. Operators can face heavy fines if they violate state regulations such as not clearly marking equipment or failing to plug inactive wells. But those numbers are a fraction of the agency’s projected revenue for this year, more than $69 million, which it collects mostly from industry fees and accounts for more than 75 percent of its budget.

— Houston Chronicle