Oil Well Leak Test – Los Angeles

Oil Well Leak Test Services - Los Angeles, CA

Terra-Petra is undertaking, on behalf of a Los Angeles developer, the task to locate, uncover and leak test a single oil well in Los Angeles, CA.  The proposed site will consist of a two-story, raised foundation, single family dwelling. The California Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) requested this work to be performed as necessary oil well due diligence.

The tasks performed may encompass a geophysical survey, a well head excavation, a well head survey, and a well head leak test and summary report. All work will be completed in compliance with the California Public Resources Code (PRC) Article 4: Regulation of Operations: Code Sections 3200-3258.

Terra-Petra Oil Field Services

Terra-Petra’s oil field services offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their oil field needs.  Our team will manage your project from start to finish, encompassing everything from initial consultation to the final report and submission of NFA (No Further Action) letter.

With the seemingly endless moving parts involved in successful oil field construction site plan reviewoil well abandonment / re-abandonmentvent cone installationconsulting and more, it’s important to have an expert by your side every step of the way to manage the process and make sure your budget and schedule stay on track.  With Terra-Petra’s hands-on expertise in ALL aspects of oil field management and consulting we stand out amongst other firms in the industry.

Los Angeles Moves To End Oil Drilling In The City

Re-post from latimes.com

(Image by Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday took steps intended to phase out oil drilling and gas extraction in the city, moving to address the legacy of environmental and health problems caused by an industry that helped create modern Southern California.

The council voted unanimously to support a ban on new oil wells and ordered a study intended to help city officials determine how to phase out existing wells in the next two decades.

Environmental justice activists heralded the vote as long-fought win for the low-income communities of color near the wells and a turning point in city regulations that allow for the extraction of oil and gas in residential neighborhoods.

“No community should be a sacrifice zone,” said Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-L.A. and co-chair of a coalition of community groups fighting to shut down wells.

Oil wells are known to emit likely carcinogens including benzene and formaldehyde, and living near wells is linked to health problems including respiratory issues and preterm births, studies have found.

Yet storage tanks and oil rigs are hidden behind walls and nestled near homes, schools and youth clubs. Along with health risks, the active sites can bring around-the-clock noise for residents.

Petroleum was once one of Southern California’s biggest industries, with derricks and wells dotting coastal areas from Huntington Beach to Santa Barbara, extending to inland communities including Brea and Echo Park. The industry helped fuel L.A.’s growth in the early 20th century and later provided jobs for veterans after World War II, and also created some of L.A.’s great fortunes and scandals in the prewar years.

The region’s output is not what it once was, but there are still more than 1,000 active or idle wells in L.A., city officials say.

“Oil drilling in Los Angeles might have made sense in the early part of the 20th century, but it sure doesn’t make a lot of sense now that we’ve become a megalopolis at the beginning of the 21st century,” Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, said at Wednesday’s council meeting.

The motion approved Wednesday directs city attorneys to draft an ordinance that prohibits new oil and gas extraction. The city will also conduct an amortization study to understand whether oil companies have recouped the value of their investments at each oil site.

If companies have recouped those costs, L.A. officials say it will make it easier for the city to shut down the sites.

Rock Zierman, chief executive of the California Independent Petroleum Assn., said in a statement that “shutting down domestic energy production not only puts Californians out of work and reduces taxes that pay for vital services, but it makes us more dependent on imported foreign oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq that is tankered into L.A.’s crowded port.”

Crude that is produced in California complies with state environmental laws, while imports are exempt, Zierman added.

“Further, taking someone’s property without compensation … violates the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment against illegal search and seizure,” Zierman said.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors last year took similar steps to phase out oil production in unincorporated areas. The state is moving toward banning new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools and healthcare facilities, and requiring emissions monitoring of existing wells within those buffer zones.

More than half of the city of L.A.’s active oil wells are in Wilmington, according to Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental health and justice group. The group became involved in the neighborhood in 2007 after residents complained about a massive oil drilling operation run by Warren E&P Inc.

The operation is near homes and a youth baseball field, said Bahram Fazeli, director of research and policy at Communities for a Better Environment.

“It was terrible — people said it was a living hell,” Fazeli said, describing residents’ complaints of asthma attacks and nosebleeds. “It’s still a big hazard to the community.”

A drilling site run by Allenco Energy in University Park brought reports of foul odors, headaches and persistent nosebleeds. The site was ordered in 2020 to shut down permanently after years of legal and political wrangling.

The city has faced persistent criticism from activists for its lack of oversight of the petroleum industry. A 2020 investigation by The Times and the Center for Public Integrity found that the city of Los Angeles has been slow and inconsistent in forcing the petroleum industry to take responsibility for wells that sit idle and unplugged.

Mysterious Methane Plumes Spotted Above Texas Oil and Gas Fields

Mysterious Methane Plumes Spotted Above Texas Oil and Gas Fields

By Josh Saul

(Bloomberg) — A satellite spotted two plumes of planet-warming methane rising from a patch of East Texas that’s home to multiple oil and gas operations.

State regulators said they couldn’t identify the source of the methane, which is the primary component of natural gas and traps 80 times as much heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in the atmosphere. Stemming methane leaks and stopping unnecessary releases is one of the most powerful steps that can be taken to slow global warming.

The two plumes were detected by geoanalytics company Kayrros SAS using a Nov. 29 satellite observation from the European Space Agency. Kayrros estimated that the plumes originated from different sources east of Dallas, about 15 miles apart, in an area dotted with fossil fuel infrastructure.

The plumes had estimated release rates of 21 tons per hour and 24 tons per hour. It’s not possible to determine the duration of leaks because satellites only capture one moment in time. If they lasted an hour, the two clouds combined would equal the average annual emissions from about 800 cars running in the U.S.

Some methane plumes found by satellites can be tracked to specific sources, especially if a company reveals that it released gas at that location at that time. But without anyone stepping forward, the source of such plumes — where multiple companies are operating in a small area — can remain a mystery. On-the-ground monitoring is also sometimes used to link releases to specific producers.

Companies operating pipelines nearby include Boardwalk Pipelines LP, Enbridge Inc. and Atmos Energy Corp. Boardwalk said it didn’t have any leaks or releases that could have caused the clouds. An Enbridge representative said the company isn’t aware of any such release. Atmos didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Texas regulators also weren’t able to identify the source of the methane plumes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality wasn’t aware of the plumes, a representative said. A spokesperson for the Railroad Commission of Texas, the primary state regulator of the oil and natural gas industry, referred questions to the TCEQ.

Terra-Petra’s oil field services offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their oil field needs.  Our team will manage your project from start to finish, encompassing everything from initial consultation to the final report and submission of NFA (No Further Action) letter.

With the seemingly endless moving parts involved in successful oil field construction site plan reviewoil well abandonment / re-abandonmentvent cone installationconsulting and more, it’s important to have an expert by your side every step of the way to manage the process and make sure your budget and schedule stay on track.  With Terra-Petra’s hands-on expertise in ALL aspects of oil field management and consulting we stand out amongst other firms in the industry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OIL FIELD SERVICES

LA to Seek Federal Infrastructure Bill Funds to Remediate Orphaned Oil Wells

LA to Seek Federal Infrastructure Bill Funds to Remediate Orphaned Oil Wells

There are a total of 5,000 oil wells statewide eligible for a portion of the $4.7 billion in remediation funding through the infrastructure bill, according to Uduak-Joe Ntuk, California’s Oil and Gas Supervisor.

Los Angeles officials joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland today to discuss opportunities through the new infrastructure bill to fund the remediation of Los Angeles’ idle oil wells.

There are a total of 5,000 oil wells identified statewide eligible for a portion of the $4.7 billion in remediation funding through the infrastructure bill, according to Uduak-Joe Ntuk, California’s Oil and Gas Supervisor. His agency, the California Geologic Energy Management Division, is working to submit an application for the funding. The state will be competing with about 30 other states for portions of the funds, he said.

Haaland noted that Los Angeles County has “one of the highest concentrations of oil and gas wells of any city in the entire country, with some recent estimates suggesting that 500,000 people in L.A. live within half a mile of a well.”

“I’ve spent the day seeing firsthand how legacy pollution impacts people in the neighborhoods they live in. Kids who are relegated to having baseball practice next to oil pump jacks and gas wells, children who have grown up with bloody noses and the loss of the adults in their lives to cancer,” Haaland said.

“These wells can have serious impacts on the health and well-being of the community and the planet, from contaminating groundwater to seeping toxic chemicals and methane gases. That’s not acceptable,” she added.

Los Angeles County has about 1,400 wells identified for potential remediation funding. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who chairs the City Council’s Energy, Climate change, Environmental Justice and River Committee, said the city will submit a “very detailed plan” to the state on remediating its wells.

Orphaned wells can leak hydrocarbons and methane, and remediation funding would allow the state to cut the wellheads off, fill the wells with cement and remove tanks, vessels and pipelines. After that, the soil would be cleaned and tested. The remediation process can cost as little as $15,000 for individual wells in rural areas and as much as $500,000 for wells in urban areas like Los Angeles, which are typically older, Ntuk said.

“It’s a unique opportunity and arguably one of the largest investments in the environment in a generation,” Ntuk said. “We’ll be able to reduce methane emissions from these well, we’ll be able to protect groundwater, we’re also going to be able to create local jobs that pay well.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Haaland, Ntuk, O’Farrell and Councilman Gil Cedillo at Vista Hermosa Park, a roughly 10-acre park that reopened in 2008 after several idle wells within the park were remediated.

Garcetti said the city would apply for the federal remediation funding frequently to address the rest of its idle wells.

“I think we’re so used to being down on ourselves that we forget to celebrate when something historic, with Republican and Democratic support, passes. It’s not just important for D.C., it’s important for Echo Park, it’s important for Temple-Beaudry or Vista Hermosa,” Garcetti said.

Terra-Petra Abandoned Oil Well Services

Starting in the 3rd quarter of 2021 Terra-Petra saw a significant uptick in oil well abandonment projects that we are being asked to bid on. There are multiple steps involved with abandoning an oil well (orphaned or not). Initially we engage the California Department of ConservationGeologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to start the Construction Site Well Review (CSWR) application process.

The CSWR is used to assist local permitting agencies in identifying and reviewing the status of wells that are located near or beneath structures. Simultaneously Terra-Petra’s Petroleum Engineering team starts the well abandonment permit process by reviewing the historic well files and preparing the permit package for submittal to CalGEM for review and approval. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months. Once we have permits in hand, we can move into the physical abandonment process. Terra-Petra may spend between 2-5 weeks abandoning a single oil well with one of many abandonment rigs.

Later this year (2nd quarter 2022) we are looking to abandon wells in Redondo Beach and multiple sites in Torrance (pending permit issuance). We are currently consulting on oil well related matters for more than two dozen developments having an oil well on the property.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OIL WELL ABANDONMENT SERVICES

Deserted Oil Wells Haunt Los Angeles With Toxic Fumes And Enormous Cleanup Costs

Re-post from The Los Angeles Times

(Image by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Thick oil was once so abundant beneath Southern California that it bubbled to the surface, most famously at the La Brea Tar Pits.

But after more than a century of aggressive drilling by fossil fuel companies, most of Los Angeles’ profitable oil is gone. What remains is a costly legacy: nearly 1,000 wells across the city, in rich and poor neighborhoods, deserted by their owners and left to the state to clean, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of state records by the Los Angeles Times and the Center for Public Integrity.

Few U.S. cities are punctured with such a concentration of old drilling sites, with tens of thousands of residents living nearby, from Ladera Heights to Echo Park. If not plugged and cleaned up, many of these orphaned wells will continue to expose people to toxic gases, complicate redevelopment and pose rare but serious threats of explosions. If the state were to tackle the cleanup, it would cost tens of millions of dollars.

Yet despite regulatory powers that in some ways are stronger than the state’s, Los Angeles has been slow and inconsistent in forcing the industry to take responsibility for its leaky legacy, according to the Times/Public Integrity investigation.

Part of the problem is staffing.

Until recently, the city Fire Department was operating with one full-time well inspector, resulting in sporadic enforcement.

The department issued notices of violations for extended inactivity to two companies in 2009, then three in 2016, according to the results of a public records request. Then, in 2018, the department inspected wells all across the city, handing out notices to more companies covering dozens of wells.

Battalion Chief James Hayden, whose responsibilities include the Los Angeles Fire Department’s oil and gas program, acknowledged that the city hadn’t provided adequate oversight of the industry. But with a second full-time inspector added this year and other employees trained to conduct additional inspections, he said, the department will work to ensure that operators “adequately manage their idle wells.”

Even as it adds personnel, Los Angeles has been hesitant to use its full regulatory authority, which allows the city to mandate that an oil or gas well either be restarted or shuttered after it sits unused for a year.

Tidelands Oil Production Co. is one firm that has skirted such cleanups.

A subsidiary of drilling company California Resources Corp., Tidelands operates wells in Wilmington, some of which have been idle since the 1990s. Although the city issued violation notices in 2018, Tidelands neither restarted production nor plugged and cleaned the wells.

Asked why, a CRC spokeswoman said by email that the company provided officials with information about the status of its wells “and we understand that the City is evaluating that information.” Hayden said Los Angeles lacks an appeals process for companies cited for violations and has chosen to defer to less-stringent state regulations.

Many neighbors of the city’s old drilling sites are frustrated and angered by what they see as official indifference toward orphaned wells.

“What’s going to happen to them?” asked Danny Luna, who lives in Echo Park, where hundreds of wells sit orphaned, many for more than a century. “Nobody’s taking responsibility for them. … Are we going to be left with leaky faucets underground?”

In addition, Los Angeles has failed to consistently employ a full-time petroleum administrator as city code requires. For decades, the position was unoccupied or filled by part-time employees. In 2016, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Uduak-Joe Ntuk, who helped initiate the spurt of oil and gas inspections.

Ntuk departed in late 2019 to run the state agency that regulates oil production, the California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM. The city has yet to hire a new petroleum regulator, relying on an interim administrator.

“It’s really about incompetence, playing games with politics,” said Michael Salman, a UCLA professor who watchdogs oil and gas issues. “It’s about shortsightedness.”


An explosive, costly legacy

Statewide, 2,425 oil and gas wells are deserted and unplugged, a Times/Public Integrity analysis found. More than half of these sites sit in Los Angeles County, mostly between Dodger Stadium and Koreatown. They haven’t produced in at least eight years — many for more than a century.

Until wells are properly cleaned and plugged, they pose a threat to communities and the environment. Idled and deserted wells can waft fumes into homes, emit climate-warming methane, leak salty water into aquifers and drip oil.

Many of these wells were deserted decades ago, during the early chapters of Southern California’s oil history.

Historically, “if a well dried or it didn’t produce anything, they’d throw a few logs down it and walk away,” said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat who has sponsored legislation addressing oil and gas cleanup. “And to this day we’ve been experiencing the kind of seepage that’s occurred because they haven’t been properly capped.”

Old wells also pose a risk of blowouts — and in extreme cases, explosions.

In January 2019, a 1930s-vintage oil well erupted in Marina del Rey, where a hotel was under construction. No one was injured, but residents and pedestrians captured video of oil, gas, drilling mud and other debris blasted into the sky.

In 1985, something ignited methane rising from a heavily drilled area near the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. The explosion blew up part of a Ross Dress for Less store, injuring 23 people. Researchers never fully settled the debate about whether the explosion was caused by naturally migrating gas or old wells. Still, the blast reflects the dangers of a city underlain by about 5,200 historical oil and gas wells and miles of associated pipelines.

Los Angeles sits atop “one of the most petroleum-dense basins on the planet,” said Seth Shonkoff, executive director of the research group PSE Healthy Energy, adding that old wells can act as conduits for gas. “Migration of methane and other hydrocarbons creates explosion hazards, which oftentimes need to be mitigated in the basements of houses and buildings.”