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).
Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Leak
A well in a natural gas storage facility in the City of Los Angeles (the Porter Ranch neighborhood) began leaking on October 23. A number of state and local agencies – including the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources – are overseeing efforts by the Southern California Gas Company (SCG) and its contractors to halt the leak. The State Oil & Gas Supervisor on November 18 issued an
order to SCG that requires testing results, data, and written plans to address the leak be provided to the Division. The order was issued “to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to prevent damage to life, health, property, or natural resources.”
SCG has a frequently updated
information page about the situation on its web site. Members of the public also can call SCG at (818) 435-7707.
In response to the leak, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a fact sheet on health and community impacts. It has helpful basics for concerned people and a list of contact information for local public agencies who can answer questions and help those who are impacted.
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.
Notice of Public Comment Hearing: Proposed Aquifer Exemption
On August 20, 2015 the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, sent notice regarding a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Dollie sands of the Pismo formation in the Arroyo Grande oil field (in unincorporated San Luis Obispo county near the intersection of Ormonde Road and Price Canyon Road). Subject to approval by the United States 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.
San Luis Obispo September 21, 2015 4pm-7pm
1605 Calle Joaquin Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Documents related to the Aquifer Exemption proposal, and information regarding how to submit comments can be found
Interested Parties List
To receive emailed notices about future aquifer exemption activities, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specific whether you are interested in these activties in a specific oil field, in a county or community, or on a statewide basis.
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.
Volumes II and III of Independent Science Study on Well Stimulation Released
Pursuant to 2013 legislation by Senator Fran Pavley (Senate Bill 4), the California Natural Resources Agency commissioned the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to conduct an independent scientific assessment of well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, in California. On July 9, 2015, CCST publicly released Volumes II and III of the assessment.
Volume II assesses the potential impacts of well-stimulation technology with respect to water, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as induced seismicity, ecology, traffic and noise. Volume III presents case studies to assess environmental issues and qualitative hazards for specific geographic regions, based on findings in Volume I and Volume II.
To view or download the report, please visit the CCST website at:
SB 4 Environmental Impact Report Certified
On July 1st, State Oil & Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen, head of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (Division), certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) titled “Analysis of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation Treatments in California.”
This Final EIR analyzes the impacts of well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”), performed in a manner consistent with the Division’s proposed permanent regulations that would amend California Code of Regulations Title 14, Division 2, Chapter 4, Subchapter 2. This EIR’s analysis assumes that well stimulation treatments could occur either within or outside of existing oil and gas field boundaries. For the purposes of this EIR the “Project” is defined as all activities associated with a stimulation treatment that could occur either at an existing oil and gas well, or an oil and gas well that is drilled in the future with the intent to stimulate the well, or a well drilled with a reasonable possibility of becoming subject to a stimulation treatment.
here to view the SB4 Final EIR.
Underground Injection Control (UIC)
New 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
Well Stimulation/SB 4 News and Information
New 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