Los Padres ForestWatch and Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) have filed appeals with Ventura County Planning on a project for 19 new wells in the Barker-Ferndale Lease near Thomas Aquinas College.
Details regarding the appeal can be read in the Wed. edition of this weeks Ojai Valley News.
One issue raised by the appellants was the fact that produced water – water that comes up with the oil and gas – is transported via a pipeline from the Barker-Ferndale lease to the nearby Hamp lease, into the injection disposal well named Hamp 72.
At first glance, this arrangement seems to fly in the face of regulations, which require privately owned (by the oil operator) non-commercial injection disposal wells only be used to dispose of waste extracted from the same reservoir that it will be injected back into. Only waste from the same underground formation that Hamp 72 injects into, can be disposed of back into Hamp 72.
Local watchdog groups began asking questions about the transport of waste from Barker-Ferndale to the Hamp lease, and whether this was a violation.
State officials from the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) have confirmed this transport of wastes is allowed, and Hamp 72 injects back into the same formation that Barker-Ferndale extracts from.
“As part of a facility consolidation at the Barker-Ferndale lease, produced water from the Barker-Ferndale lease, and the Hamp lease is disposed into well Hamp 72 (API 111-21271),” said Don Drysdale, public affairs director with DOGGR, responding to VCInFocus via email. “Both the Barker-Ferndale lease and the Hamp lease produce from the Monterey Miocene formation found at an average depth of 5,350 feet (true vertical depth).”
Since both leases extract from the same underground formation, transport and disposal of waste from one to the other is allowed according to the California Code – only if both leases are ran by the same operator. California Resources Corporation Inc. (CRC), formerly Vintage Petroleum (Occidental) operates both leases.
“Produced water from the same operator can be injected into approved UIC (Underground Injection Control) wells within the same zone,” said Drysdale.