AUDIO: California’s riskiest oil fields examined in new reports
March 14, 2017
• One of the state’s dirtiest fields is in Kern County
• Study points to critical lack of transparency
Midway Sunset, which is the oldest and most productive oil field in California and which essentially started the oil industry in the state, also happens to be one of the dirtiest, according to a study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“We don’t know enough about oil in general, and California in particular,” says Deborah Gordon, a chemical engineer by education and director of the organization’s Energy and Climate Program.
“The Midway Sunset Field exemplifies all that we don’t really know and understand,” says Ms. Gordon. “It’s hugely complex. What is it producing and is it being well managed and are their protections in place?”
California’s complex Midway Sunset oil field is examined in depth in one of two new reports being released Wednesday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
(Deborah Gordon talks about the issues clouding the Midway Sunset Field as well as highlights of the group’s second report on the California oil industry in today’s exclusive CVBT Audio Interview via Skype. Please click on the link below to listen now or to download the audio file for later listening.)
The new publications estimate total greenhouse gas emissions from over 150 California oils and drill down on Midway. The reports map California’s different oils and trace potential implications for the state’s global climate and air quality goals.
Using the Oil-Climate Index — developed by researchers at the Carnegie Endowment, Stanford, and the University of Calgary — to compare the climate impacts from different oils, “Need to Know: The Case for Oil Transparency in California” paints a first-of-its-kind total picture of state’s oil resource challenges, while “Drilling Down on Oil: The Case of California’s Complex Midway Sunset Field,” examines the state’s largest oil field.
The reports identify missing data that need to be routinely collected to better manage the state’s oil resources and build upon the progress already made by state policymakers.