SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

California orders Chevron to 'take all measures' to halt massive spill of oil-water mixture

About 800,000 gallons of an oil-water mixture has spilled in the last two months at a Chevron operation in the Cymric Oil Field in California's Kern County C...

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 3:45 AM

About 800,000 gallons of an oil-water mixture has spilled in the last two months at a Chevron operation in the Cymric Oil Field in California's Kern County Canyon.

Of the mixture, about 30% is oil, Chevron says, meaning nearly 240,000 gallons of crude have spilled out onto the earth.

On Friday, California's Department of Conservation ordered Chevron to immediately "take all measures" to the stop the flow and "prevent any new surface expressions" near the well site.

Don Drysdale, a spokesman for California's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, told CNN that officials had a slightly different preliminary estimate of the oil spill than Chevron did. The agency is working with Chevron to collect data and zero in on exactly how much had reached the surface, he said.

California says Chevron allowed "surface expressions" of oil to occur May 10, June 8 and June 23. The state is saying that "remedial work" is necessary to "prevent damage to life, health, property, and natural resources."

According to the California order, Chevron has responded to notices from regulators about the issue. However, Chevron's responses have "contained, but not prevented" additional expressions of oil on the surface of the ground, the state says.

Chevron spotted the leak May 10 at its operation about 40 miles west of Bakersfield.

Morgan Crinklaw, a spokesman for Chevron, told CNN via email that 18,905 barrels of a "oily-water mix" had spilled into a dry streambed in the canyon. He confirmed that 70% of the mixture is water.

Crinklaw said that by July 9, "the seep has stopped flowing and the fluids are contained." He added that Chevron is "using pumps to remotely extract fluids from the containment area until regulatory agencies deem the area safe for entry and full cleanup."

So far, about 90% of the fluid is cleaned up, according to the company.

There's no evidence the leak has harmed wildlife

Chevron says it immediately notified regulatory agencies in May after discovering the leak, and "there has been no impact to waterways or wildlife."

On May 13, shortly after Chevron sounded the alarm about the leak, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response posted a photo of the spill on Facebook, noting that it hadn't observed any "visibly oiled" wildlife around the leak.

This year's inland spill in California is larger than a 2015 California oil spill that spewed 105,000 gallons of crude oil out of a ruptured pipeline off the coast near Santa Barbara.

However, that spill, from a pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline, was more ecologically harmful because it occurred near an active waterway.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32581

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7113137
Marion465894
Washington449760
Umatilla296241
Clackamas239861
Malheur161723
Lane118517
Jackson11395
Deschutes82512
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5298
Polk52915
Linn51913
Morrow4986
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2893
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2274
Clatsop2040
Josephine1982
Columbia1651
Coos1560
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa301
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 807451

Reported Deaths: 15583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2669886504
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54386925
Orange530691214
San Diego46331775
Kern31865367
Fresno28199382
Sacramento22183406
Alameda21136406
Santa Clara21030311
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16469205
Stanislaus16452351
Tulare15970263
Ventura12664150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11076101
San Mateo9843150
Monterey980771
Santa Barbara9037113
Merced8872142
Kings763177
Sonoma7369122
Marin6694117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer356745
San Luis Obispo354429
Butte281944
Yolo279555
Santa Cruz23309
Sutter170511
Napa166913
San Benito134011
Yuba11537
El Dorado11094
Mendocino90818
Shasta80617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5465
Lake53911
Nevada5337
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 82°
Brookings
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Crater Lake
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 77°
Grants Pass
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Klamath Falls
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 77°
Critical fire danger Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events