California Reviews Fracking and Places a Moratorium on High-Pressure Steam Wells

On November 19, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom directed California oil and gas regulators to stop approving fracking permits until an independent audit determines that pending well stimulation permit applications meet the state’s technical standards for public health, safety and environmental protection.

Additionally, a moratorium has been placed on new extraction wells that use high-pressure cyclic steam to break apart a geological formation to extract oil.  During the moratorium, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources will determine whether the process complies with recent regulations and if it can be conducted safely with new rules, regulations and practices, or if the practice should be prohibited all together.  The moratorium comes months after several oil leaks were discovered in Kern County. California’s recent announcement relating to this temporary ban and moratorium can be found HERE.