Though a handful of California of oil and gas operators continue to produce profitable volumes of oil, the majority of California operators, including the state’s oil and gas major corporations, Chevron, Aera Energy, and California Resources Corporation, are producing very low average volumes of oil per well.
About Kyle Ferrar, MPH
Western Program Director
Kyle Ferrar is the Western Program Director at FracTracker Alliance where the majority of his current projects focus on extraction activities in California and Colorado. His time and energy is focused on supporting the needs of grassroots organizations in these geographies. Kyle has worked on extraction related environmental justice issues since 2007, and began his career as a staff researcher at the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed his graduate work.
His current work focuses on connecting the knowledge of empirical research with the stories told by regulatory monitoring data, and leveraging these connections to uplift the lived experiences communicated by frontline communities.
At home, he lives well above the snowline in the Western Sierras with his dogs and partner, where they explore the backcountry for fun and adventure.
Phone: (415) 890-3722
Entries by Kyle Ferrar, MPH
Assessment shows hundreds of sensitive receptor sites located within 3,200 feet of operational oil and gas wells in California would have been protected if California Senate Bill 1137 had not been challenged by referendum.
A report by FracTracker Alliance finds that more comprehensive bonding requirements are necessary to protect the state of California from being left financially accountable for the plugging and abandonment of tens of thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells.
A report by FracTracker Alliance finds Colorado’s oil and gas industry has produced enough wastewater statewide to completely satisfy the current and past needs of source water for hydraulic fracturing completions.
In Q1 2023, the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) gave out 896 rework permits to oil companies. More than half of these permits were for wells located within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, or healthcare facilities.
This analysis shows that the policy proposed in SB 1137 of denying rework permits within the health protection zones is a commonsense public health intervention that would have minimal effects on production within the protection zone.
During the fourth quarter of 2022, California regulator CalGEM issued oil and gas operators 222 new drilling permits, an increase of over 750% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Of those, nearly half (100; 47%) were for wells located within the 3,200’ public health setback zone.
FracTracker inspections of oil and gas infrastructure using an optical gas imaging camera found numerous sources of uncontrolled emissions in three California counties.
FracTracker’s in-the-field inspections and updated analysis of CalGEM permit data shows that California’s regulatory practices and permitting policies risk exposing frontline communities to VOCs from oil and gas well sites.
California is the only major oil state without a health and safety setback from fossil fuel activity. This article explores what a setback in California means for its people and environment.