California News Pulse January 2021

California | January 2021

Field Overview

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 January)
Total Rigs in California- 7
Total Rigs in United States- 384
Total U.S. Rigs down 56% YTD


State Highlights

Central Coast Leasing Ban

Before Biden got a chance to introduce the federal lands drilling ban, California Congressman Jimmy Panetta reintroduced the California Central Coast Conversion Act. This bill was similar to the Biden moratorium in the sense that all new oil and gas leasing on federal land in the Central Coast would be banned. With that bill, the BLM will be required to complete and publish a report looking at the environmental costs of oil and gas drilling in these parts. They are being asked to include impacts on air, greenhouse emissions, climate change, groundwater, surface water, seismicity, wildlife & plant species, low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous communities. If adverse impacts are discovered, the BLM may not lease that land. Representative Panetta said, “As a federal legislator, I strive to make decisions based on evidence and I expect federal agencies to do the same.  Until the BLM completes a detailed analysis of the harmful impacts new oil and gas drilling will have on our pristine environment, the agency should not be able to proceed.

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State Takes Credit for Decreased Activity

CalGEM proudly announced that it issued 23 percent fewer drilling permits on the year, and approved 16%  more permits for plugging and abandonment. While the state regulatory influence definitely played its part, some are quick to point out that these numbers are likely a direct result of the pandemic. Regardless CalGEM released a statement claiming, “New state policies, combined with increased enforcement by CalGEM, are driving the increase in oil and gas operators permanently removing wells from operation.” CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Associate, Rock Zierman, was quick to point out that more than ? of California’s petroleum supply was imported last year.

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California Oil Production


California Gas Production


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