Oil production began in earnest in California in the late 1800s. The Legislature created what is now the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) in 1915 to ensure the safe development and recovery of energy resources. DOGGR oversees the drilling, operation, and eventual permanent closure of oil, gas, and geothermal wells — important steps in protecting public safety and the environment.
California ranks among the top five oil-producing states in the nation, although production generally has been in decline since the mid-1980s. DOGGR has jurisdiction over more than 228,800 wells, including nearly 101,850 categorized as active or idle oil producers. DOGGR's authority extends from onshore to three miles offshore. The Renewal Plan steers DOGGR's priorities to meet public needs for safety and wise regulation.
- DOGGR retains well records dating back to the early 1900s.
- Regulations for well operations are developed with the best scientific data available.
- DOGGR has state and federal authority to oversee injection wells that push fluids into porous rock formations; to inject fluids into production wells to assist in oil recovery, and to send fluids recovered with oil and gas extraction back into the ground. Injection process regulations also address exemptions for aquifers determined to contain water unsuitable for drinking or other beneficial uses.
- With the authority of the nation’s most robust regulations, DOGGR oversees well stimulation techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing, to make sure public health and safety, and natural habitats are protected.
- DOGGR regulates standards for underground natural gas storage facilities.