Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

California Issues Emergency Regulations Restricting Underground Injection in Connection with Oil and Gas Recovery

The California Department of Conservation (“Department”) proposes to adopt emergency regulations purported to bring California’s underground injection control program into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act...more

California’s Class II Underground Injection Wells Subject to Increased Scrutiny

EPA sets new requirements and compliance deadlines for a stricter regulatory oversight program. On March 9, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter to the California State Water Resources Control...more

Regulators Confirm: No Drinking Water Contamination from Oil & Gas Disposal Wells

On Tuesday, March 10, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez and California Natural Resources Agency (“CNRA”) Secretary John Laird testified before a joint State Senate committee hearing. At...more

Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Wells Closed Down as a Precautionary Measure to Ensure Drinking Water Protection

On Tuesday, March 3, twelve underground injection control (“UIC”) wells in California’s Central Valley, specifically in Kern County, were shut down in order to protect subsurface drinking water from potential contamination. ...more

Proposed Assembly Bill 356 Would Require Additional Groundwater Monitoring by Oil & Gas Operators

California Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) has introduced an oil and gas bill to ensure that the state comes into compliance with the Class II underground injection (“UIC”) requirements under the federal Safe...more

DOGGR Letter to USEPA Proposes Rulemaking to Eliminate Oil and Gas Well Injection into Non-exempt Aquifers

On Friday, February 6, California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) published a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) addressing issues with California’s Class II Oil and Gas...more

Dual Studies Assess Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil and Gas Resources in California

The California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and the California Council on Science and Technology recently released studies that examine the impact of hydraulic fracturing of oil...more

California Publishes Two Statutorily Mandated Studies on Fracking and Other Oil and Gas Stimulation Methods

On January 14, 2015, the State of California released two anticipated studies concerning hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” in California pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) enacted in 2013. The California Natural...more

Environmental Groups Dust Off NEPA and CEQA in Attempt to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing and Well Acidization

Municipal bans and other legislative measures to halt hydraulic fracturing and related well stimulation techniques have yielded mixed results across the country. In an attempt to halt hydraulic fracturing and acid well...more

“Final” May Be a Misnomer for California’s Final Fracking Regulations

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources recently issued a “final” set of rules for regulating hydraulic fracturing in California that replace the interim rules that have been...more

SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”). The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the...more

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014. The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal...more

The Unintended Effects of Protecting the Environment – How Banning Fracking Can Lead San Benito County To Bankruptcy

On November 4, 2014, San Benito County voters went to the poles to vote on Measure J, the measure designed to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and related gas and oil extraction activities, as well as other...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress: Los Angeles Times - Nov 10: Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling...more

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

DOGGR to Review Well Stimulation Regulations to Ensure Compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act

On Friday, July 18, 2014, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) announced that it will review California’s Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) Program to ensure compliance...more

DOGGR Well Stimulation Regulations Implementation Extended to July 1, 2015

On Friday, June 20, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a public resources “trailer bill:” Senate Bill 681 (“SB 681”). Section 5 of the Bill extends the implementation deadline for the Department of Conservation’s Division of...more

Under Scrutiny from All Sides, Brown Taps Ph.D. in Geology to Lead the DOGGR: What This Means for the Industry and SB 4's Rollout

At last, the new Supervisor of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) has been announced. Steven Bohlen, currently Program Director at the Lawrence Livermore...more

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

Is There a De Facto Moratorium on Well Stimulation in California?

SB 4 did not place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or other well stimulation treatments. SB 4 specifically states that so long as an operator complies with the notification and documentation requirements...more

Changing Leadership at DOGGR: Potential Impacts on the Most Productive County for Oil and Gas Operations in California

A new deputy district supervisor for District 4 of the Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) will take the helm on May 1 of this year. Dan Wermiel - a geologist and previously DOGGR’s technical program...more

DOGGR Interim Regulations Provide Operators Some Guidance on SB 4 Compliance

California’s Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) is moving full-steam ahead in its implementation of SB 4 with its most recent circulation of the SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation...more

California Department of Conservation ("DOC") Proposes Emergency Rulemaking for SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation Treatment...

On December 11, 2013, the DOC proposed an emergency rulemaking to implement interim provisions of SB 4. Public Resources Code section 3161, part of SB 4, provides for an interim grace period from the permitting requirement...more

California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations: Implications and Next Steps

California's Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) is one of the first laws in the United States to regulate hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"). On November 15, 2013, the state's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) issued...more

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