California News Pulse May 2023

Posted: June 28, 2023

California | May 2023

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- 2 (-)
Total Rigs in the United States- 682 (-32)
Total U.S. Rigs 10.4% YTD

State Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 8

State Highlights

California, Big Oil Sued Over New Gas and Well Permits

The Center for Biological Diversity, among other signers, sued California regulatory agencies for approving the drilling of 15 new wells on the THUMS Islands in Long Beach Harbor that sit over the Wilmington Oilfield. Despite the fact that this facility has over 1,200 wells drilled from its several manmade offshore islands, it remains a lynchpin of political debate. Critics argue that oil slicks that the islands could generate might float across the bay and possibly endanger the territory of the California coast horned lizard that lives across the bay from islands. The granted permits have been revoked pending legislation.

California Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Over Monterey Oil, Gas Drilling Restriction

Monterey County banned frac’ing and instituted a set of rules intending to phase out wastewater disposal in 2016 and was taken to court over whether or not state laws about land use superseded these bans. This measure was known as Measure Z and received a tremendous amount of populist support. The article mentions that the oil industry put together a $5.4 million legal and advertising campaign to combat this measure, but the opposition still took 56% of the vote.

California Bill Would Hit Oil Companies with $1 Million Penalty for Health Impacts

A new California bill might allow for those who live near oil and gas production and exploration operations to sue companies for breathing issues and other maladies that they develop and think are ascribable to oil and gas facilities. This new law allows for payouts between $250,000 and $1 million, with potentials for doubling and tripling the payouts. According to FracTracker, 2.76 million Californians live in an area near enough production operations to be affected by them. An element of this law is that production companies would be assumed guilty until they prove themselves innocent of the accusations.

Rig Count

California Oil Production

California Gas Production

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