California News Pulse December 2021

Posted: January 27, 2022

California | December 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
Total Rigs in California- 8 (-4)
Total Rigs in United States- 586(+17)
Total U.S. Rigs 53% YTD

State Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 3

State Highlights

Center for Biological Diversity Announces California Court Rules Lawsuit Against State Oil Regulator Can Proceed

A lawsuit between California’s oil and gas regulator and the Center for Biological Diversity has recently come to an end, and one not so favorable to the industry. California regulators approved over 2,000 permits for new wells in 2020 with little to no environmental inspection. The culmination of the months-long lawsuit is not far off, but little is left to the imagination when it comes to how the industry will have to proceed; with stricter and more transparent environmental reviews. 

3 Companies Indicted in Connection with Recent Oil Spill off California Coast

Three companies have been indicted following the release of thousands of gallons of crude oil off the coast of California in October of 2021. Amplify Energy is considered the main culprit as the owner of the pipeline responsible for the oil leak, as well as poor handling of the situation. According to federal prosecutors Amplify Energy, as well as two of its subsidiaries, are looking at several million dollars in fines and a few years probation. The release of 25,000 gallons of crude oil has resulted in week-long closures of famous California beaches like Huntington Beach. 

LA to Seek Federal Infrastructure Bill Funds to Remediate Orphaned Oil Wells

There is $4.7 billion available for states’ use in remediation, particularly in the case of well plugging and abandonment. LA is seeking a large portion of the funds to pay for the costs associated with maintaining environmental standards surrounding the approximately 5,000 orphaned wells across the state. Experts estimate that around 500,000 thousand people in LA live within a half-mile of a well. Moving the industry out of population centers has been a priority of LA officials for some time now and obtaining federal funding would help greatly. 

Rig Count

California Oil Production

California Gas Production

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