The Division oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells. The regulatory program emphasizes the wise development of oil, natural gas, and geothermal resources in the state through sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution, and ensure public safety.
All California oil and gas wells (development and prospect wells), enhanced-recovery wells, water-disposal wells, service wells (i.e. structure, observation, temperature observation wells), core-holes, and gas-storage wells, onshore and offshore (within three nautical miles of the coastline), located on state and private lands, are permitted, drilled, operated, maintained, plugged and abandoned under requirements and procedures administered by the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).
As part of its
Renewal Plan, the Division is creating a modern data management system to help strengthen its oversight of California energy gas production and provide enhanced transparency to the public. The Division is in the midst of developing the Well Statewide Tracking and Reporting System, or
WellSTAR. The cloud-based application will improve data collection and analysis; streamline operations and processes; and comply with new reporting regulations from SB 1281 and SB 4, along with other state and federal statutes. In developing this new tool, the Division is leveraging the experience of the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC), which has helped implement similar data management systems in 23 states. The development and deployment of WellSTAR is taking place in four phases and will run through 2019. The project is on time and on budget. The public will be able to access data on WellSTAR by the end of October 2018.
Presentations from the Workshop for Gas Pipelines and Idle Wells held on October 17
Draft Regulations for Gas Pipelines in Sensitive Areas - AB 1420
Gas Pipeline Mapping System
Recent Workshops Held for Gas Pipelines and Idle Wells
The Division held two back-to-back workshops on October 17, 2017 to review the new requirements under AB 1420 and AB 2729. The gas pipelines workshop served to help operators understand the new requirements under AB 1420. The idle wells workshop served to help operators understand the new definition of idle well, idle well fees, and idle well management plan under AB 2729. The workshops were held at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5101 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309. The gas pipeline workshop began at 9:00am and the idle well workshop began at 1:00pm.
The Gas Pipelines Notice to Operators can be found on the Division website
The Idle Wells Notice to Operators can be found on the Division website
Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility
After putting numerous safeguards in place to protect public public safety and the environment - such as ongoing on-site inspections - the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources and California Public Utilities Commission have concurred that natural gas injection may resume at the Aliso Canyon storage facility. Before, and soon after, resuming injection, operator Southern California Gas must comply with the requirements of an order issued by the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), including conducting flyovers to check methane levels.
Since the leak was plugged at the Los Angeles County facility 17 months ago, significant improvements and upgrades have been made to infrastructure, testing, operations, and monitoring to ensure safe operations. The Division completed a comprehensive safety review at Aliso Canyon in January, consulting with the Lawerence Livermore, Lawerence Berkeley and Sandia National Laboratories on extensive site inspections and review of Southern California Gas's testing. The facility will operate with significantly reduced storage capacity and maximum injection pressures.
Documents related to the decision to allow injection to resume and additional background materials can be
found on this page.
news release about this decision.
Idle Well Regulations
AB 2729 is aimed at reducing the number of idle oil and gas wells in the state. California has more than 23,000 such wells, about half of which have been idle for more than 10 years. Idle wells, particularly long-term idle wells, are of concern because they pose a risk of desertion and, in some cases, environmental contamination. The Division sought public input on the discussion draft regulations related to the plugging and abandonment, testing, remediation, and securing of idle wells, in addition to testing requirements for observation wells.
These regulations will be in place in mid-2018. More information can be found here:
Gas Pipeline Regulations
AB 1420 was created to protect public safety and hasten remediation in the event of a pipeline leak. This law was created in response to a leak in a small pipeline that forced about three dozen people from their homes for more than eight months in the Kern County community of Arvin. The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources gathered public input on two regulatory areas that are in the informal, pre-rulemaking stage:
- discussion draft regulations for active gas pipelines that are four inches in diameter or smaller, located in areas defined as sensitive, and are 10 years old or older
- active gas piepline mapping and data submission requirements for operators
Written comments on the proposed regulatory action were accepted until 5:00 pm on November 10, 2017. Additionally, public comment hearings were scheduled to be held in two locations:
- Los Angeles - November 8, 2017, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Ronald Reagan Building, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Bakersfield - November 9, 2017, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Four Points by Sheraton, 5101 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309
More information on the comments, draft regulations, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Action can be found
Once finalized, the new regulations will go into effect at the start of 2018.
Natural Gas Storage Regulations
The Department of Conservation on May 19 released, for public review,
proposed regulations to further enhance the safe operation of natural gas storage facilities. The proposed regulations aim to prevent leaks, and include stronger well construction standards and requirements for daily testing of wellheads. Once adopted, these regulations will supplant emergency rules adopted after the Southern California Gas Company natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon that ended in early 2016. The formal documents for this rulemaking effort can be found
Underground Injection Control Discussion Draft Regulations
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has released
Version 2 of its "discussion draft" regulations for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program, including new provisions to further protect the environment and public safety.
The Department of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources held a recruiting seminar in early 2017, talking to people interested in applying for technical and management positions open in all our offices: Orcutt, Ventura, Cypress, Bakersfield, and Sacramento. Video replays are available from the following links:
Annual Well Stimulation Treatment Report
annual report satisfies the legislative report requirements of Senate Bill 4 (Pavley, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2013) regarding well stimulation treatment. Part 1 of the report summarizes the objective and scope of this report. Part 2 provides a response to each legislative reporting requirement. The appendices provide references and sources of the data, as well as a glossary of terms used. During the reporting period, 579 well stimulation treatments were performed, all but one in western Kern County in relatively mature oil fields.
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