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CalGEM: Idle oil wells leaking methane near Bakersfield neighborhoods repaired

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 22:17:19-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — California Geologic Energy Management Division officials announced that as of Tuesday, 38 wells previously found to have methane leaks or high-pressure build-up near several Bakersfield neighborhoods have now been repaired.

CalGEM says they are continuing to work with Griffin Resources, LLC to properly fix one well that was found to be leaking methane after initial repair work.

They have also retained a contractor to repair eight wells owned by Citadel Exploration, Inc. that were previously found to be leaking high levels of methane. So far, the contractor has repaired four of those eight Citadel wells.

Back in May regulators said several idle oil wells in Northeast Bakersfield were discovered to be leaking and were in need of repairs.


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FROM CALGEM:

A summary of the status of the wells by operator can be found below:

  • Griffin Resources, LLC wells in the Fruitvale oil field: Fourteen wells were previously found to be leaking methane. Repairs were undertaken on all fourteen wells; however, one of those wells continues to leak low levels of methane. CalGEM is working with the operator to properly repair the remaining leaking well. 
  • Sunray Petroleum wells in the Kern Bluff oil field: All six wells previously found to be leaking methane are repaired. Post-repair inspections show no methane leakage. 
  • Zynergy, LLC wells in the Kern Bluff oil field: All seven wells previously found to be leaking methane are now repaired. Post-repair inspections show no methane leakage.   
  • Citadel Exploration Inc. wells in the Kern Bluff oil field: Eight wells were previously identified with methane leaks. CalGEM’s contractor has begun work to stop the leaks on these wells – as of today, four of the eight wells have been repaired.

Seven of these eight wells are included in a CalGEM-issued Order to Plug and Abandon Wells, Pay Idle Wells Fees and Pay Civil Penalties. Citadel failed to comply with the Order in a timely manner. As a result, CalGEM has filed a petition for a court order directing payment of the civil penalty, compliance with CalGEM's earlier plug and abandonment order, and discontinuing production until all violations have been remedied and the civil penalty paid.

  • ​E&B Natural Resources wells in the Fruitvale oil field: All eight wells previously identified to have high-pressure build-up within the well, including one which also had a methane leak, have been fixed. Post-repair inspections show no methane leakage and low pressures.​