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California State Office
Release Date: 08/28/14
Contacts: Martha Maciel, (916) 978-4616    
News Release No. CA-SO-14-04

BLM California Announces Path Forward for Oil and Gas Program

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With today's release of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) independent science review of well stimulation technologies, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is announcing its comprehensive strategy for the federal oil and gas program in California. The strategy incorporates information from the independent science review, provides the results from public scoping on oil and gas development, and provides internal guidance for processing of applications for permits to drill (APDs) and sundry notices.

"The CCST report, in concert with the public scoping report and internal guidance, provide key scientific data, internal process, and public participation components to better inform decisions for the future of the BLM oil and gas program in California," said Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director. "With these pieces in place, we will be able to both contribute to meeting America"s energy needs and implement appropriate, safe, and responsible measures to protect groundwater and other critical resources."

The CCST report-- Advanced Well Stimulation Technologies in California: An Independent Review of Scientific and Technical Information --was commissioned by the BLM in September 2013. The BLM requested a rigorous, independent expert assessment in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the best available science and potential impacts of using well stimulation technology in the unique geology of California.

"The authors of this report possess a wide range of technical expertise relative to advanced petroleum production and its impacts. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Pacific Institute conducted the review, analysis, and synthesis of existing data and scientific literature regarding well stimulation in California. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a peer review of the report, in addition to the already rigorous CCST peer review process," Kenna said.

Information from the independent science review will be incorporated into future oil and gas lease sales and permitting statewide. The work is being coordinated with the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Department of Conservation, which is implementing a similar effort directed by California Senate Bill 4 (SB 4).

In addition to the independent science review, the BLM has issued internal guidance through an Instructional Memorandum CA-2014-031 (IM ), directing its field offices to request from oil and gas operators the information that is required by the State of California through SB 4. This guidance will help the BLM and the State share information more efficiently to ensure operator compliance with the provisions of both SB 4 and BLM regulations.

Also today, the BLM published results from public scoping for oil and gas development for the Hollister Field Office's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment. During the scoping process, the BLM received more than 130 public comments, the majority of which expressed concerns about potential groundwater pollution and the amount of water used in oil and gas production. Other concerns included air quality, health and safety, seismicity and climate change. The BLM will incorporate these comments into the development of alternatives for the EIS.

The independent science review, including an executive summary, is available on the CCST website:

The information about the BLM oil and gas program including the scoping report and IM, is available on the BLM website:


California State Office   2800 Cottage Way W1623, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 09-02-2014