California | June 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 7/9)
Total Rigs in California- 6
Total Rigs in United States- 479
Total U.S. Rigs up 86% YTD
CalGem Fudges Numbers
Gov. Gavin Newsom has stated that fracking accounts for less than 2% of California oil production, but it appears that he has significantly underestimated its use as the state moves to outlaw the practice by 2024. According to oil and gas industry groups, the genuine figure is eight times greater, and even environmentalists believe that 2% is far too low. Newsom is relying on a doubtful estimate from his own oil regulator, and critics ask how the state would be able to effectively combat fracking if it doesn’t know how much is happening. The biggest issue is the estimate understates the magnitude of money and people involved in the hydraulic fracturing business. The state’s oil regulator admits that it only keeps track of fracking activities that have started in the last six years, which is only a small percentage of the state’s current fracking activity. Officials could have arrived at the figure — which the agency’s records indicate as 2.6 percent — by dividing by the wrong amount, according to a review of public documents and industry records. CalGEM has not responded to inquiries about its methods of calculation, or whether or not they meant to present that estimate.
CalGEM Dragging Feet on Safety Rules
California Governor Gavin Newsom asked oil regulators to investigate new health and safety standards to protect residents living near oil and gas drilling sites a year and a half ago. However, those officials missed yet another deadline for issuing the guidelines in June, angering environmentalists who say communities can no longer wait for reform. CalGEM hasn’t established a new deadline for the rules, which were supposed to be out in December under Newsom’s original deadline. Regulators postponed their decision, but stated that they would be released in the spring. Most of the complaints from environmentalists are centered around the lack of a setback to separate communities from oil and gas activity. While CalGEM has not commented on the delays, the overseeing California Department of Conservation has revealed that the process is taking longer due to “complex subject matter within and beyond our previous regulatory experience.”
California Oil Production
California Gas Production
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