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California | Environment & Forest Defense

Chevron Fracs California Regulations, Discredits Cap and Trade
by Tomas DiFiore
Monday Mar 11th, 2013 10:27 AM
Think current oil field regulations are working?
For more than 2 months, 100 barrels of oil and water a day came to the surface as seepage related to steam injection at one well... the surface expression near well Bull 9 (DOGGR) June 21st to July 19th 2011 Chevron Midway-Sunset Field.
California Sinkholes Are Rare, but only because they are called 'Surface Expressions'.

For more than 2 months, 100 barrels of oil and water a day came to the surface as seepage related to steam injection at one well... the surface expression near well Bull 9 (DOGGR) June 21st to July 19th 2011 Chevron Midway-Sunset Field.

On July 19, 2011 the division had issued an order to the TRC Operating Company. TRC was told to stop all injection within 150 feet of the "surface expression" near Well 20, and to stop their injection operations within 300 feet, if steam or fluids continued at the surface five days later. TRC was also given the same order relating to another "surface expression" near the "Bull" 9 well. DOGGR reports that expression had also started on June 21.

Chevron was ordered to stop injection within 300 feet of the problem near Well 20, Operator TRC was ordered to stop steam injection within 500 feet of Well 20. TRC was also ordered to stop any steam injection within 300 feet of nearby well, "Bull" 9. Lease Operator TRC filed an appeal, and continued injection until an administrative hearing could be held.

On Aug. 3, an order to halt steam injection describes "at least two new" surface expressions within 40 feet of the first one near Well 20. One of the new expressions had a five-foot radius.

On August 5 there were more problems and another order to TRC. "A volatile eruption began from the existing surface expression in the vicinity of Well 20," the order reads. "Expelling rocks, other material, and emitting fluid and steam."

DOGGR said TRC then reported to them that on Aug. 3 and 4, the company had been doing cyclic steam injection to a well near the original accident site. That order also revealed that Well 20 was "damaged," and fluids and gas on the ground were first reported to the agency before 2008.

Meters used by oil companies to monitor ground movement in the area registered shifting underground in the eight days prior to and on the day Robert David Taylor died in June 2011, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources said in its report.

California Sinkholes Are Rare, but only because they are called 'Surface Expressions'.

Tim Kustic, California's oil and gas supervisor, said sinkholes are "relatively rare." He said the agency is considering new regulations in a bid to "eliminate or curtail" seeps and spills of oil in steam injection operations.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/22/4506927/california-agency-says-oil-workers.html

"Our intent is to learn from this experience," he said.
The report said steam injection drilling started in the area around Well 20 in the mid-1990s and that spills and seeps began about a year later. It identified about 30 spills and seeps in the area. In most cases, oil and water flowed to the surface slowly, the report said.

$1 million and $350.00
April 18, 2012 - Chevron Pays $350 Fine after Oil Worker Death
http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/chevron-pays-350-fine-after-oil-worker-boiled-to-death?news=844346

“Labor leaders are outraged over a California worker-safety agency’s decision to fine Chevron only $350 for an accident that resulted in an employee being sucked underground and boiled to death.”

“The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) conducted an investigation and concluded that Chevron did not violate any laws. Cal/OSHA then reopened the case after the state’s oil and gas agency encouraged another review because of concerns that the oil field represented a safety hazard to the public.”

“After conducting its second review of the incident, Cal/OSHA ordered the oil company to pay $350 for failing to properly warn its workers about the dangers of sinkholes opening up as a result of steam injection.”

“The small regulatory penalty, levied after a first investigation cleared Chevron, has angered labor leaders and reignited a debate over the risks of the extraction technique that led to the worker's death. The method, in which a rush of steam heats the ground and loosens oil deposits, yields much of California's crude.”
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/14/local/la-me-oil-death-20120412

Do a search...
California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Chevron Fined, Oil Worker Death

By that time, I think the public, workers in all occupations, and legislators realized something was wrong with the whole picture. And then another big story filled the newswires, the 25 citations and million dollar fine against Chevron for negligence in the Richmond Refinery fire.

Richmond Refinery Fire - January 30, 2013
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/01/30/state-fines-chevron-1-million-for-richmond-refinery-fire/

$963,200 in fines are in the form of 25 citations issued against the oil giant, which a Chevron spokesman said the company plans to appeal.

“Ensuring worker safety is the employer’s responsibility,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees Cal/OSHA. “Refineries must take the steps needed to prevent incidents like the August Chevron fire,” she said. “Failure to do so can pose great dangers to workers, surrounding communities and the environment.”

The proposed fines are the maximum allowed under state law and the highest fines levied in Cal/OSHA’s history, according to division representatives.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has fined Chevron nearly $1 million for worker safety violations related to a massive Aug. 6, 2012, fire at the company’s Richmond refinery. Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widdes said the report “confirms what Chevron already knew, that the pipe was severely corroded and should have been replaced.”

“Failure to act was included among the multiple serious and willful serious citations issued to Chevron. Chevron’s own metallurgists and pipe inspectors reached the same conclusion and recommended as far back as 2002 that Chevron take action to protect its workers, the community and the environment. by replacing the pipe that finally ruptured in 2012.” The pipe rupture and fire at the Richmond refinery on August 6, 2012 resulted in six minor injuries and more than 15,000 residents in the surrounding area seeking treatment at medical facilities.

Released
February 13, 2013 - In Cooperation with Cal OSHA, CSB Releases Technical Report

Chevron 2012 Pipe Rupture and Fire;
http://www.csb.gov/newsroom/detail.aspx?nid=457

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical incidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Then just this month- Criminal Prosecution Demanded Against Chevron Refinery Bosses/Executives In Richmond
Saturday Mar 2nd, 2013
by Labor Video Project
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/02/18733017.php

Jack Oudiz – Senior Safety Engineer, California Division of
Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA)

“As I approach my retirement from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health after nearly 23 years as a compliance industrial hygienist, a District Manager, a Regional Senior Industrial Hygienist and Senior Safety Engineer, I wanted to share some thoughts on my experience and on the current state of affairs....”

A very long letter and long list of signatories, but an excerpt would show that it's an impossible job without resources (funding), staff, and the political will power in the State of California to support the laws of the State.

No funding for State Regulators, and a 'Cap and Trade' on fines.
Minimum cap on fines, traded for maximized profits.

Support “The Climate Protection Act Of 2013” it offers a 'New Paradigm And New Solutions'

If the Boxer(CA)-Sanders’(VT) “Climate Protection Act Of 2013” proposed carbon fee were adopted, it would generate $US 1.2 trillion from the 2,900 largest carbon polluters in the United States by 2024 (10 years after date of enactment).

10 years, 2900 polluters, 1.2 trillion dollars...
1.2 trillion dollars divided by 10 years is $120 billion per year

And $120 billion divided by 2900 is a meager $41,379,000.00
An average of $42 million dollars in fees per year per individual world's worst polluting company. (Sliding scale)

In 2012, Chevron made $26.2 billion in profits. Exxon, $44.9 billion. Shell, $26.59 billion.
Subtract $42 million from any of those....

Does your calculator have enough zeros?
World’s Biggest Companies Cause more than $2.2 Trillion yearly in Environmental Damage.
$2,200,000,000,000.00 each year in Environmental Damage.

S. 332 “The Climate Protection Act Of 2013” New Paradigm And New Solutions
“A portion of the revenue raised by the carbon tax would be split equally between EPA and the Department of Transportation and would be used to fund climate change adaptation programs and infrastructure projects, including electric vehicle charging stations and preferential parking for carpools, energy efficiency and sustainability projects, including weatherizing homes for low-income persons, job training to allow fossil fuel employees to work in the clean energy sector, and energy research.”

A section of the bill proposes $30 Billion a year for 10 years to pay down the National Debt.
These are real amounts, numbers that begin to sound like commonly heard corporate numbers.

The bill would allocate 60% of the revenue raised to a residential environmental rebate program, the Family Clean Energy Rebate, as part of the “The Climate Protection Act Of 2013” will work off the rebate model developed by Alaska's Oil Dividend. Legal residents of the United States would receive monthly rebate payments:

Four 'fracking' important reasons to pass the “The Climate Protection Act Of 2013”
1) “This is the most progressive way to insure that if fossil fuel companies jack up prices, consumers and families can offset can offset price increases on fuel and electricity.”
2) “The proposal also would provide rebates to consumers to offset any efforts by oil, coal or gas companies to raise prices.”
3) Sanders has said “60 percent of that revenue would subsidize the higher bills of U.S. energy users.”
4) Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), the bill’s sponsor, “says the bill will try to offset spikes in energy costs for consumers.”

All four points, are coincidental to the expected US Domestic Energy price hikes and the failure of the false promise of the shale gas economic bubble.

US Domestic Natural Gas Prices Expected To Double by 2016
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/01/18732922.php

“It is expected that Future U.S. LNG imports would be competitive even if domestic natural gas prices were to double, and rise above even $8 per million Btu.” Current price is $3-$4. Friday Mar 1st, 2013, Global Market Spot Prices (FERC)

Support is needed in the Public Forum, for (S.332) The Climate Protection Act Of 2013.
Call or write your local State Senators and Representatives by name
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

or find by State

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Contacting the Congress is a very up-to-date and easy citizen's congressional directory for the 113th Congress. As of March 06, 2013 there are 538 electronic contact addresses (of which 535 are Web-based contact forms), and 538 home pages known for the 540 members of the 113th Congress. Traditional ground mail addresses are available for all current members of Congress.


Tomas DiFiore

§Correction... Bull 9
by Tomas DiFiore Friday Mar 15th, 2013 3:31 AM
The well Bull 9, is owned by Berry Petroleum Company out of Denver. A 'surface expression' connected to 'cyclic steam injection' and seepage surrounding Chevron's Well #20 became a 'sinkhole' that claimed the life of Oil Field worker R. Taylor. Both ownerships are in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field, east of Bakersfield. Both companies and lease-operators were ordered to halt steam injection at these wells and any nearby wells at distances from 300 to 800 feet, by DOGGR in summer of 2011. It is known that for more than 2 months, 100 barrels of oil and water a day came to the surface as seepage related to steam injection at one well between June 21st and July 19th in 2011, the Chevron well #20 in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field.
§Same Operating Company
by Tomas DiFiore Friday Mar 15th, 2013 3:47 AM
Both Chevron and Berry employ the same operating company TRC, which also received the notifications to halt injection at Chevron well #20 and the Berry owned well Bull 9. And though seepage at Bull 9 amounted to 100 barrels a day, TRC did not halt injection for over 2 months while it waited to appeal the decision at an administrative hearing.


§The DOGGR Investigative Report Clarifies And Confuses
by Tomas DiFiore Friday Mar 15th, 2013 6:00 PM
The report details conditions before, the day of, and the days after the accident. DOGGR also discussed tiltmeter data compiled by a contracting company that indicated 4 separate ground movement events before, during, and after the accident. All of the events were located on Chevron property. Some were attributed to other Chevron wells but a nearby oil company, TRC, also had wells that were associated with at least one of the events. The report also said that about 30 such so-called surface expressions have been documented in the oil field where the accident occurred since steaming began in the mid-1990s.

The report summarizes the actions taken by DOGGR staff as a result, including:
Responding to the site to witness activity associated with the emergency response and subsequently, the surface expression containment.
Documenting the activity of Chevron’s Well 20 surface expression and TRC Operating Company’s (TRC) “Bull 9” surface expression, both of which became active on June 21, 2011 and June 22, 2011 respectively.
Documenting reported cyclic steaming activity in the area around the surface expressions, and documenting the reported quantity of fluids flowing from the surface expressions.
Collecting ground monitoring instrumentation data (tilt meter) used by the operators to allegedly prevent and determine potential causes of surface expressions. Included in this data is interpretive information provided by the tilt meter contractor.
Continuing to document additional episodes of surface expression activity.
Issuing a series of formal orders to Chevron and TRC between July 7, 2011 and August 17, 2011, progressively restricting cyclic steam injection to 800 feet away from the Well 20 surface expression.

Report of Occurrences At The Chevron Fatality Accident June 21, 2011
And Area Surface Expression Activity … Pre and Post Accident
Released May 2012 by DOGGR