California | August 2020
California, with both onshore and offshore oil production, has been supplying the U.S. with petroleum products since the 19th century. Operations are primarily focused around Kern County, the LA Basin, and the San Joaquin Valley, with the Midway-Sunset oil field in Kern County being the state’s largest.
State Drilling Statistics (End of August)
Total Rigs in California- 4
Total Rigs in United States- 254
Total U.S. Rigs down 72% YTD
California Leading the Nation in Worst Power Grid
Near the end of August, millions of Californians were denied power as high temperatures caused the demand for power to exceed the supply. The green energy policies that the state pursues are likely exacerbating the problem of reduced grid reliability. Between Pacific Gas and Electric in central and North California, and Edison in the South, up to two million customers were left without power for hours. When examining power outages between 2008 and 2017, California has solidified the champion title at 4297 outages with Texas in second at 1603 outages. If considering the 4 categories of power outages between weather, faulty equipment, unknowns, and vehicle accidents, California also held the title for all four each year from 2014 to 2017. In recent years, natural gas plants have been experiencing closures, although nuclear and coal plants have been eliminated from the portfolio far before that. In addition, more than 30 Californian cities have banned the use of gas appliances, including San Francisco. Even though California continues to struggle to deliver the energy that the state demands, there seems to be no change of plans to address the issue.
California’s Own Against a Fractured Future
Biden’s running mate, Ms. Kamala Harris, served as a politician in California in varying Attorney roles for over a decade, and her California roots are definitely showing as she campaigns for the VP position. Although Biden has mentioned that he does intend to limit hydraulic fracturing operations, Harris has made it clear that she would like to ban the practice nationally. Even so, senior campaign officials are making it clear that Biden will block new hydraulic fracturing wells on federal land. Biden’s energy agenda was already shaping up to be one of the most green in US history, but the addition of Harris only solidifies the intention. As California’s Attorney General, Harris filed lawsuits against Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, and small to midcap companies for alleged environmental violations. She was against Chevron’s plan to expand a refinery in Richmond saying that it risked accidents and would be responsible for exacerbating climate change. She was also against Valero Energy’s bid to receive rail shipments of crude saying there was a risk for spills and explosions. Even so, environmental groups claim that she is not doing enough for the environment. If granted an oval office position, it will likely become more difficult for oil and gas to operate in the United States.
California Oil Production
California Gas Production
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