|Vintage Petroleum has been aggressively pursuing leases from Ventura County |
landowners, including Limoneira in Santa Paula.
Oil production in California dropped by nearly half from 1985 to 2010
- Socialist Democrats are doing everything possible to abolish oil related jobs and the taxes those jobs pay into the State Treasury.
- Marxists all over the world fail to understand that when business booms more taxes are paid to government. Democrat Marxists would rather sit around reading chapters of Das Kapital to each other than encourage business and job creation.
The Ventura County Star - Anticipating that new drilling techniques will make it possible to tap vast oil reserves thought to be unrecoverable, a Los Angeles-based oil company has been aggressively securing mineral rights beneath thousands of acres of Ventura County land.
But the Democrat legislature in the People's Republic is trying to end new oil production.
Documents filed with the Ventura County Recorder’s Office show that Vintage Petroleum, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, has entered into 192 lease agreements over the past six months in deals involving at least 9,000 acres.
Most of the leases, largely on rural land in the Santa Paula-Fillmore area, were recorded during the last week of March.
“They’re making a big play,” said attorney Stuart Nielson, whose A to Z law firm in Oxnard has represented several of the lessors.
|Oil drilling might generate tax money|
to pay the state's bills so it must be stopped.
Nielson said the pace of oil-leasing activity is unlike anything Ventura County — once a more prolific oil-producing area — has seen in decades. Most of the oil rights involved have long been dormant.
Other major oil companies are also seeking to exploit potential new opportunities, but Vintage is by far the major player in Ventura County. Elsewhere in the state, Denver-based Venoco has been aggressively testing ways to successfully drill into California shale oil reserves. Venoco holds drilling rights to more than 200,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley and in coastal areas between Santa Barbara and Monterey.
Driving the interest is the expectation that hydraulic fracturing and other new drilling technologies will allow the industry to unlock oil reserves, estimated at as much as 15 billion barrels, captured in the Monterey Shale formation. The formation underlies 1,750 square miles in Central and Southern California, including much of Ventura County.
“The question in California is whether the geology is compatible with large-scale production from the Monterey,” said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association. “There’s certainly a lot of interest on the part of our members in exploring and determining whether it’s cost-effective.”
Occidental is one of the major industry players in that exploration. It bills itself as the state’s top acreage holder among petroleum companies, with 2.1 million acres.
In its 2012 annual report, Occidental told shareholders that it spent $2.3 billion last year for domestic oil and gas properties in California, Texas and North Dakota. The report described Occidental’s corporate strategy as “deploying capital to fully develop areas where reserves are known to exist and increase production from mature fields by applying appropriate technology.”
UC Santa Barbara geology professor Dave Valentine said the shale is unusual in that it tends “to both produce oil and trap oil.”
And the oil trapped in the shale does not flow like a liquid, he said. “It’s pretty unpleasant, goopy, tarry stuff.”
The ability to economically produce from the shale will depend on the efficacy of new drilling techniques, including horizontal drilling, steam flooding and water flooding. But foremost among the new technologies is hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, in which a mixture of water, chemicals and sand is injected at very high pressure to crack rock and stimulate the release of oil and natural gas.
“Shale does not give up the oil in large volumes without hydraulic fracturing,” Hull said.
Crude oil production in California dropped by nearly half from 1985 to 2010, the California Energy Commission reports. The advent of hydraulic fracturing, however, is only part of the reason for hope within the industry of reinvigorating production.
Read more: Ventura County Star
|No oil drilling in the People's Republic|
In 1994 the California legislature codified the ban on new oil field leases by passing the California Coastal Sanctuary Act, which prohibited new leasing of state offshore tracts.