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Welcome to the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources

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.

The Department of Conservation is underway in its Renewal Plan to strengthen and improve the state’s oversight of oil and gas production in California.

Oil and Gas Wells in California

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).

Geothermal Resources

Visit the Geothermal Resources Page to view geothermal maps, download geothermal forms and publications, access GeoSteam data, and locate geothermal district offices.

 

Hot Topics

State Considering Aquifer Exemption Expansion for Kern Oil Field

The California Department of Conservation and State Water Resources Control Board are considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Santa Margarita formation in the Fruitvale Oil Field in Kern County. Subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the proposed aquifer exemption would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing about the proposal will be held starting 4 p.m. Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Four Points Sheraton, 5101 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93309. Public comments will be accepted until Monday, August 29, 2016. Visit this page to learn more.

DOC Releases Discussion Draft Gas Storage Regulations

On July 8, the California Department of Conservation (DOC), Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Division) publicly released pre-rulemaking draft regulations (Discussion Draft) for the purpose of receiving public input on the development of updates to the regulations governing the Division’s Gas Storage Program.

The release of this Discussion Draft initiates a public comment period that ends on August 11, 2016 at 5 p.m. The comments received throughout this period will be reviewed and considered as the Division updates the draft regulations. Information about the process for submitting comments is included in the Notice below.

The Division will be conducting two workshops to receive verbal and written input from interested parties. Any interested person, or their authorized representative, may present, either orally or in writing, comments regarding the proposed action at one of the workshops, to be held at the following times and places:

August 9, 2016, 1 – 5 p.m. Natural Resources Building Auditorium
1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento CA

August 11, 2016, 1 – 5 p.m. Hilton Woodland Hills
6360 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills CA 

Testing Results of Aliso Canyon Wells Available

The Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has ordered that all 114 injection wells be thoroughly tested for safety and competence before injection resumes into the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. The Division developed a protocol of six tests in consultation with the Lawrence Livermore and Berkeley National Laboratories. Test results are submitted by Southern California Gas, reviewed by Division staff, and then posted on this page, which will be updated frequently. Wells must pass all tests within one year or be permanently sealed (plugged and abandoned).

View additional Aliso Canyon information – including biweekly reports Southern California Gas must file on its progress toward completing the safety review.

​​​​State to Permanently Seal Two Deserted L.A. Oil Wells

The Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, in cooperation with the City of Los Angeles, will permanently seal two oil wells that were deserted by irresponsible operators and have seeped small amounts of gas in a residential neighborhood on Firmin Street. The wells pose no imminent danger but are a nuisance and will continue to deteriorate without intervention. For more information about the project, visit this page.

McDonald Island Gas Storage

Natural Gas Storage Rulemaking

DOC’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources is preparing to undertake rulemaking to make significant revisions to the regulations governing the Division’s Gas Storage Program. This rulemaking effort will build upon the requirements adopted by emergency rulemaking to update regulations and address concerns identified by the Division and other key stakeholders. The document outlines the Division’s immediate regulatory goals. Public input was accepted until March 18.

First Annual Report on Well Stimulation Available

The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has submitted to the state legislature an annual report on its well stimulation treatment (WST) regulatory program, required under Senate Bill 4. Signed into law by Governor Brown in September 2013, SB 4 established the most comprehensive regulatory program for the use of hydraulic fracturing and other stimulation techniques in the United States. The report includes context and background about the development of the regulations and a significant amount of data about the use of WST in California.

DOC Issues Oil & Gas Renewal Plan, Report to Legislature

Building on the ongoing effort to strengthen and improve the state’s oversight of oil and gas production, the California Department of Conservation on October 8 released a Renewal Plan to overhaul its regulatory program and continue refocusing on the guiding principles of environmental protection and public health. The Renewal Plan, along with the ongoing reform efforts, also will help fix various regulatory problems identified in a report submitted to the Legislature today under Senate Bill 855 (2010) that directed the Department to report on the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources’ (DOGGR) enforcement and permitting of underground injection control.

The Renewal Plan for DOGGR includes the following elements and actions:

  • Completing a review of aquifer exemptions under the Safe Drinking Water Act and performing a project-by-project review while ensuring that any approval letters clearly outline conditions of the permit.
  • Developing and updating regulations for hydraulic fracturing and underground injection control that are more heavily science-based and reflect ongoing technological developments.
  • Establishing a standard practice for record-keeping and workforce training to boost transparency and ensure consistent practices locally and statewide.
  • Building a publicly accessible online database of decades of paper records and a system for modern data collection and retrieval going forward.
  • Meeting aggressive deadlines for new regulations, public input and well evaluations.

The report to the Legislature focuses on DOGGR’s enforcement and permitting of underground injection control (UIC), a process used to increase oil production and to safely dispose of the salt and fresh water brought to the surface with oil and natural gas. The law directed DOC to report on permitting and enforcement statistics and to provide a program assessment and an action plan to address that assessment.

State Regulators Send Aquifer Exemption Proposal to U.S. EPA

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on February 8, 2016 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand an aquifer exemption designation for the Dollie sands of the Pismo formation in the Arroyo Grande oil field. The field is in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County near the intersection of Ormonde Road and Price Canyon Road. The proposed aquifer exemption would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

Documents related to the aquifer exemption proposal can be found here.

Interested Parties List

To receive emailed notices about future aquifer exemption activities, please send an email to comments@conservation.ca.gov. Please specific whether you are interested in these activties in a specific oil field, in a county or community, or on a statewide basis.

Division Information and Program Details

Division Orders

Information Regarding:

  • Civil Penalty Orders
  • Emergency Orders
  • Other Division Orders

Updates on these hot topics can be found here.

SB 1281 Data and Report Available

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is making available comprehensive data on water use related to oil and gas production This is the first report to be posted as a result of recent legislation (Senate Bill 1281; Pavley, 2014), which requires self-reported data from industry. The report includes data from about 60 percent of California oil and gas operators, and accounts for approximately half of the overall expected reported water volumes for the first quarter of 2015. The report distinguishes between water brought to the surface during oil or gas exploration and production that might be used for agriculture or other beneficial uses and that which has no potential beneficial use because of its naturally-occurring salt or mineral content.

Click here to read the report.

Underground Injection Control (UIC)

Information Regarding:

  • Emergency Rulemaking: Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule Regulations
  • EPA Correspondence and Guidance Documents
  • Division, State Water Board, and US EPA Aquifer Exemption Workshops
  • List of potential wells under review regarding Aquifer Exemptions
  • Update on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the United States Environmental Protection Agreement (EPA)

Updates on these hot topics and more Information on the UIC program can be found here.

Well Stimulation/SB 4 News and Information

Information Regarding:

  • Environmental Impact Report for Well Stimulation in California Released
  • Independent Science Study on Well Stimulation Released
  • Permanent Regulations for Well Stimulation Finalized
  • Readopted SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation Regulations Now in Effect
  • New Well Search Tools Available

Updates on these hot topics and more Information on Well Stimulations can be found here.

Download Reports

Current News

Previous News Items

Miss a news item? You can find past news announcements here.