U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 356


Awards presented at oil and gas conference

An independent oil and gas producer from Taft and was recognized at the Oil and Gas Conference in Bakersfield last week for his work in protecting the environment while operating his business.

The Bureau of Land Management’s California office presented Fred Holmes, Holmes Western Oil Corporation, with the Operator of the Year Award. “While operating 17 Federal leases in California, you have demonstrated that operations can be conducted in a manner which is not only highly profitable to the operator, but is also sensitive to environmental concerns,” Mike Pool, BLM state director, said in the award letter. (text continues below)

Fred Holmes, president of Holmes Western Oil Corporation, nolds theBLM state Operator of the Year Award.
Tim Smith, left, and Richard Grabowski, right, present Fred Holmes, Holmes Western Oil Corporation president, with the BLM state Operator of the Year Award.

Holmes was recognized for the development of a “no-impact” method for installing oil and steam pipelines across endangered species habitat. This method is completed using only foot traffic, and involves placing sleepers or “H” supports along the route, welding the pipe in an adjacent work area, and then “pushing” the pipe onto the sleepers from the work area.

Holmes Western has successfully used their no-impact method of installation on 11 projects conducted on both Federal surface and privately owned surface.

The federal leases occur in an important area of endangered species habitat and Holmes’ staff has worked to significantly reduce the area that would be disturbed.

“You and your staff are commended for the preventative maintenance activities developed in the field that incorporates environmental protection in their design.  Conducting daily operations in an environmentally conscious manner allow for the habitat to be maintained on BLM leases,” Pool said.

In addition to the Operator of the Year Award, BLM presented national awards for collaboration and partnership to the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and the California Oil and Gas workgroup. BLM also renewed a memorandum of understanding with the state division.

The first MOU between the agencies was signed in 1996.  The result of two years of hard work, the MOU clearly states the roles and responsibilities of each agency on the federal leases, eliminating duplicate processes and greatly streamlining permitting by both agencies.  Increased efficiency and continued improvement are achieved through annual review.

The California Oil and Gas Work Group is a collaborative partnership that consists of members from the BLM, the CDOGGR, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish and Game, petroleum industry associations and both major and independent oil companies.

The work group first met in 1992. Concerns that came out of those first meetings shaped the goals of the group and continue to guide the group’s work today.  Because of the dedication of its members, the work group recently celebrated its fifteen-year anniversary—and its well-earned accomplishments of the past one and a half decades.

Gabe Garcia, BLM Bakersfield assistant field manager for minerals, at podium, discusses BLM issues during a panel discussion:
Gabe Garcia, BLM Bakersfield assistant field manager for minerals, at podium, discusses BLM issues during a panel discussion

Richard Grabowski, BLM deputy state director for energy and minerals, left; Tim Smith, BLM Bakersfield manager and Hal Bopp, California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources state oil and gas supervisor, sign a memorandum of understanding between the state division and BLM:
The BLM's Richard Grabowskiand Tim Smith and Hal Bopp of the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources sign a memorandum of understanding between the state division and BLM

- D. Christy, 11/3/08


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 356


 
Last updated: 11-05-2008