California | October 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- 10 (+3)
Total Rigs in United States- 550 (+22)
Total U.S. Rigs 83% YTD
Governor Newsom and his oil and gas supervisor, Uduak-Joe Ntuk, announced a draft rule to assist safeguard communities from the health dangers associated with oil drilling. California is the only oil-producing state in the US where there is no regulation for a minimum distance between oil wells and homes, schools, hospitals, childcare centers, and other gathering places. Newsom’s declaration that California will propose a 3,200-foot setback between new wells and homes, as well as strict pollution regulations on existing wells, is especially critical for Californians who suffer disproportionately from fossil fuel production.
Officials are investigating if a ship anchor damaged a pipeline off the coast of California this weekend, resulting in a large flow of crude oil that has sparked calls to phase out the Golden State’s already dwindling offshore oil industry. However, the entire amount of the spill remains unknown as a difficult cleanup work continues. The oil leak was detected in federal seas about 5 miles off the coast of central California, eventually washing up on the beach in Huntington Beach, an Orange County town about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. Damage from a ship anchor is “one of the distinct possibilities,” according to Martyn Willsher, CEO of pipeline operator Amplify Energy Corp.
According to AAA data, the average price of a gallon of normal unleaded gasoline in California is $4.54, which is nearly $1.16 higher than the national average. However, one brave station along the Big Sur coast was charging $7.59 for normal petrol and nearly $8.50 for premium this week. “99.9% of motorists will not buy gasoline over $5,” said Severin Borenstein, an energy expert at UC Berkeley. In Southern California, prices are at their highest level in a decade. Motorists in Los Angeles and Orange counties are spending $19 more to fill up a normal 14-gallon tank than they were a year ago.
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