California | February 2021
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 February)
Total Rigs in California- 7
Total Rigs in United States- 402
Total U.S. Rigs down 49% YTD
Full on Frack Ban
California continues to propose incredibly stringent regulations for the oil and gas industry. Two state senators introduced Senate Bill 467 that would halt all fracking, steaming, and other activities perceived as risky next year, and phase out anything that fits that description by 2027. The bill, now dubbed the “End Fracking & Harmful Drilling Act,” would also attempt to install rules for 2,500’ setbacks. While this would hamper state income, the bill includes a provision to fund incentives for contractors cleaning up old wells to hire displaced oil and gas workers. This bill is one of the proposed solutions to Newsom’s request aiming to ban fracking in the state within the next 5 years. Rock Zierman, Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association, was quick to criticize the bill saying, “virtually ban all oil production in California, killing thousands of quality highly-skilled, union careers that cannot be replaced by low-skilled and temporary jobs in the renewable industry” and would “make the Saudi royal family even richer all while eliminating the industry that is investing in the innovation needed to significantly reduce the state’s carbon footprint.” When probed about his feelings on the bill Gavin Newsom said that he could not comment as the bill was only recently submitted and he had not yet read it.
State Sued Over Permitting
CalGEM has been accused of being too generous in its approval of oil and gas permits, and the state of California is being sued because of it. The Center for Biological Diversity claims that CalGEM “has a consistent and ongoing pattern and practice of ignoring its legal obligation to conduct environmental review before issuing oil and gas permits throughout the state.” CalGEM maintains that it follows all state laws and regulations when permitting and added that they have strengthened oversight and imposed more rigorous enforcement in recent years. Those in industry have commented that this lawsuit will likely fall flat claiming that this suit is not based on fact.
California Oil Production
California Gas Production
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