Not just fracking: State slows almost all oil permitting | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-11-27 22:00:00 –

Behind California’s de facto hydraulic fracturing moratorium is a widespread trend of growing concern about Khan’s oil industry. This means less permission for all other types of well work except clogging and abandonment.

Governor Gavin Newsom resisted environmentalists’ call to stop all new drilling. But at the same time, his administration introduced a new level of scrutiny, among other changes that restricted permits when high oil prices forced the Biden administration to open strategic petroleum reserves.

In the two years since Newsum took office in 2018, state and federal data show that California’s annual permits granted for new drilling have dropped 19% to 1,796. Permits granted annually for well blockages and abandonments actually increased by 11% during that period to 3,001, while 37% were granted for work in existing wells. It decreased to reach 1,550.

Political football

Even before Newsom became governor, California’s oil permits obeyed politics. Former Governor Jerry Brown fired former state oil and gas director Elena Miller in 2011 under enthusiastic campaigns by local executives and pressure from politicians, including Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

The main complaints against Miller were the same as those against the current state regulators. Due to increased state surveillance and lack of urgency, it will take time for oil producers to maintain local jobs and obtain permits to support local tax revenues.

The head of Bakersfield-based oil producer Aera Energy LLC spotlighted the issue on November 10 in a keynote speech at this month’s Kern County Energy Summit.

Quiet slowdown

President and CEO Erik Bartsch clicked to view a slide titled “California Permitting Slowdown.” It represents a major leap in the number of days the state has taken in recent years to approve underground injection permits and well stimulation projects such as fracturing, a controversial well finishing technique also known as hydraulic fracturing. rice field.

His claim was that Newsom was quietly attacking California’s oil supply.

“The phasing out is happening today without public debate,” said the head of Aera, whose state has allowed the refusal of flak jobs in western Kern, to be the subject of a proceeding in the Kern County Superior Court. Said that it has become.

State response

When presented with an industry summary showing allowed declines, the state’s major oil regulators prioritize public health and safety in oilfield project reviews, which they call the country’s most stringent monitoring process. I pointed out what it was.

The California Geographical Energy Management Department has pointed out several initiatives to ensure a more thorough review of oilfield operator permit requests and a detailed review of the state’s permit process. He admitted that the additional work took time.

We noted recent audits of the state’s permit review process, the introduction of the Federal Scientific Review CalGEM for hydraulic fracturing project applications, and new regulations on injection operations. He also called attention to the moratorium that the Newsom administration imposed on certain high-pressure steam injection operations after a major oil spill near McKittrick.

Coat twist

A twist occurred recently when a judge ruled against an attempt to initiate an over-the-counter permit process for Khan’s oil and gas business. The ruling returned CalGEM to lead the environmental review of the California oilfield project, at least temporarily.

The agency said in an email that its staff “scrutinizes all permit requests in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.”

“This action allows operators to advance over 200 future plug operations to permanently seal old wells that are no longer in use,” CalGEM said.

Industry view

Rock Zearman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association’s industry group, said the state was fully authorized by the court to allow wells that had already passed the county process before October 6. Approval of new wells until the county permit case is resolved.

A spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association’s industry group said the Newsom administration is making it difficult for oil producers to get the permits they need to produce affordable and reliable energy for the state. He wondered why that was happening when President Joe Biden was calling on Russia and OPEC to increase oil production to lower global fuel prices.

Santa Clarita-based California Resources Corp. answers questions about the pace of state oil permits, pursues adequate stimulus projects, and “to secure the permits needed to safely produce stable, affordable low carbon. We are constructively cooperating with state agencies in. Fuel for Californians. “

Chevron’s comment

When asked the same question, Chevron Corp. said that California produces only 30% of the oil it consumes, and as an island of energy, its production within the state contributes to the reliability and safety of energy. Said.

According to the company, supply-restricting policies only shift energy production to lower regulatory standards, along with high-paying work and tax revenues. He said it would support predictable and consistent permits to promote the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources.

“To plan and execute a business, we need to recognize predictability and consistency,” a Chevron spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Not just fracking: State slows almost all oil permitting | News Source link Not just fracking: State slows almost all oil permitting | News

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