California Field Report – May, 2015

By Olman Valverde and Mike Flores, of Luna & Glushon

New Reporting Rules Cause DOGGR Delay

The state’s oil and gas agency has missed the deadline for reporting on the use of water by oil producers in California, saying that the large volume of information required could not be processed in time,

The California Department of Conservation failed to meet an April 30 deadline for making public a broad range of information regarding the source, volume and disposal of water used in oil and gas production.

Senate Bill 1281, which was passed last year, requires oil operators to give specifics on the source, quality and treatment of all injected waters along with the quality, disposal and treatment of all produced waters. This bill vastly increased the data the state is required to collect from oil companies. Regulators are now required to track 200 billion data elements, officials said, far exceeding the data management capacity of the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

The next quarterly reporting deadline is July 31, but officials could not say when the agency will submit the information.

Lawmakers Approve Bill Dealing With HF and Seismic Activity

California lawmakers have approved a bill dealing with hydraulic fracturing’s effect on seismic activity and methane emissions. A.B. 1490 would put a moratorium on nearby HF after an earthquake of 2.0 or greater in magnitude, until the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources determines that HF does not heighten the risk of seismic activity.

Butte County Supervisors Ban HF Disposal

The Butte County Board of Supervisors has approved an ordinance that would ban the storage or disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste within the county. The vote regarding the waste generated by injecting fluids into the ground to stimulate oil and natural gas production was 4-1.

Paper Released on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants 

The Air Resources Board (ARB) has released, for public review, a concept paper to initiate discussion on the development of a Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy.

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) include methane, tropospheric ozone, black carbon, and fluorinated gases. They are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants, including carbon dioxide. Their relative potency, when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, can be tens to thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Senate Bill 605 requires ARB, in coordination with other state agencies and local air districts, to develop a SLCP Strategy by the end of 2015, to further reduce SLCP emissions in California.

The Concept Paper presents initial ideas that will be considered and evaluated in the coming months by ARB staff, in coordination with other agencies, as it develops a SLCP Strategy pursuant to SB 605.

The concepts included in this discussion draft do not represent commitments at this time, nor do they comprise an exhaustive list of elements or considerations that may be included in the Strategy or shape its development. The intent of the paper is to elicit new ideas and refine strategies to reduce emissions of SLCPs throughout the state.

The Concept Paper will be discussed at a May 27, 2015, public workshop. The comments received on the Concept Paper will inform the development of a draft Strategy that ARB expects to release for public comment later this summer. ARB welcomes broad participation among stakeholders, experts and interested parties throughout this process.

The Concept Paper and workshop notice can be found at ARB’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant website at: The website also contains a link for submitting written comments. An agenda and presentation will be posted before the workshop.