Oil Field Surface Expressions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Under strengthened regulations effective ‪April 1, 2019, surface expressions violate state regulations enforced by the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM, formerly DOGGR). A surface expression can occur when steam injected under pressure to produce oil breaks through natural geologic barriers and comes to the surface. The releases in the Cymric, Midway Sunset, and McKittrick oil fields in Kern County are not near population centers or sources of drinking water. All of the expressions are contained and are clustered in a few areas.‬ CalGEM​ is collaborating with independent experts from the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories to investigate the expressions in the Cymric field.‬

Refer to the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Spill Report​ for additional information on specific surface expressions. Use "Search" to enter the incident number, for example, 19-7291 (numbers available below), ​for reports. 

Enlarge map image for current map.

Interactive GIS map of Cymric surface expressions

Chevron Cymric McPhee 36W Area Surface Expressions

  • CalOES Spill Report 19-7291: Incident began November 13, 2019. Expression inactive since November 14. Recovered volume: 20 barrels water and oil. Located approximately 120 feet west of March 29, 2018 expression in Gauge Setting 5-D area. Chevron posted danger signage and lights. External company monitoring for any gas emissions. Chevron notified of two vertical cracks on hillside and road above. Operator addressing. ​Environmental cleanup complete and site restored.​ ​
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-7186​: ​Discovered November 8, 2019. Expression inactive since November 30. Recovered volume: 5,460 barrels water and oil. Location approximately 112 feet northwest on hill above Gauge Setting 5-D area, uphill of expression reported September 13. External company monitoring for any gas vapors. ​Environmental cleanup complete and site restored.​ 
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-6580: Incident began October 13, 2019. Expression inactive since October 14. Recovered volume: 1,931 barrels water and oil. Hillside vent at northern end of Cymric field. Spill area cleaned; site cleanup continues. 
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-6568: Vent found inactive October 12, 2019; reactivated with steam and fluid October 15-18; reactivated October 22, intermittently active November 1-11. Expression inactive since November 11. Recovered volume: 13,160 barrels water and oil. Located 275 feet east of CalOES Spill Report 19-6386 expression and 294 feet north of CalOES Spill Report 19-6221. Chevron contained flow; lights, danger signs, and propane cannon (to deter wildlife) installed. External company monitoring for low (thus far) gas emissions. Environmental cleanup complete and site restored.​ 
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-6386: Vent found inactive October 3, 2019. Reactivated October 4. Inactive since October 5. Recovered volume: 1,160 barrels water and oil. Location is 320 feet northwest of CalOES Spill Report 19-6221 expression and CalOES Spill Report 19-5263 expression. Environmental cleanup complete and site restored.​ 
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-6221: Expression began September 26, 2019. Dormant September 29; reactivated twice; expression inactive since November 18. Recovered volume: 1 barrel water and oil. Fluid contained within berm. Located approximately 180 feet northeast of CalOES Spill Report 19-5263 expression.
  •  ​
  • CalOES Splll Report 19-5407: Flow began August 21, 2019.  Expression inactive since  October 15. Volume recovered: 19,925 barrels water and oil. Underground injection testing continues​ on wells in the vicinity. ​Operator to complete site cleanup.
  •  ​
  • CalOES Spill Report 19-5263: Expression began June 5, 2019. Inactive since August 30. Volume recovered: 25 barrels water and oil.
 ​

Chevron Cymric Gauge Setting 5 Area Surface Expressions