Future of LA Oilfields Is Subject of USC Forum

The Los Angeles Basin, which has been the focus of intense oil and gas development activity for more than a century, still has a robust future, according to participants in a day-long conference hosted by the University of Southern California.

The November 12 forum was sponsored by the USC Energy Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey.

A report distributed by the USGS estimates that 1.4 to 5.6 billion barrels of additional recoverable oil remain in 10 Los Angeles Basin fields analyzed by the agency’s staff, with a mean estimate of 3.2 billion barrels.

LA Supervisors Oppose Whittier Drilling

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Oct. 29 to oppose the plan by the City of Whittier and Matrix Oil Co. to drill on publicly owned parkland in the Whittier Hills.

The unanimous vote followed a lengthy public meeting that included a number of emotional statements by opponents of the proposed drilling project. “Oil and open space don’t mix,” Supervisor Gloria Molina told The Los Angeles Times after the meeting.

The city and Santa Barbara-based Matrix Oil said the vote had little significance. They noted that the proposed project is already the subject of litigation. “The courts have jurisdiction over this matter, not the county,” said Whittier Mayor Bob Henderson. Continue reading

Occidental Petroleum Will Sell Some Middle East and U.S. Assets

Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:  OXY) has announced plans to sell a minority interest in its operations in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as some domestic properties.

The sales “are the first formal steps in our effort to streamline the business” and improve profitability, according to a statement from Stephen I. Chazen, Occidental’s president and CEO.

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U.S. Now The World’s Leading Energy Producer

The United States is moving into the position of the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas, ahead of Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. is currently producing the equivalent of about 22 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s just ahead of Russia’s output, which is estimated at 21.8 million barrels.

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Fracking Op Ed In San Fernando Valley Business Journal

The following column by Dennis Luna, which explains the economic and environmental benefits of hydraulic fracturing, was published in the September 16th issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Don’t Cap The Fracking Gusher

By Dennis R. Luna

 Political leaders, environmental activists and other public figures are calling for a ban on “fracking” oil and gas wells, because “it is imperative that all Californians be protected,” as one declared in this publication recently.

What is fracking? Is it dangerous? What would a ban mean for California and America? Continue reading