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Low oil prices spur interest in California acquisitions

A Houston company is shopping for Kern County oil projects, underscoring what some see as growing potential for acquisitions because of the low prices wreaking havoc across the industry. Publicly traded Petro River Oil Corp. says it recently recapitalized with $25 million in cash it hopes to spend specifically in Kern, parts of the United Kingdom and possibly other oil-producing ...

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Third suit filed against county’s new oil permit system, this one by oil producer

The Kern County oil fields in California, USA. (Image: Don Barrett via Flickr)

Farmers and environmentalists aren’t the only ones unhappy with Kern County’s new oil and gas permitting system. An independent oil producer active in local agricultural areas has sued to block the new rules, alleging they put petroleum companies at an illegal disadvantage in negotiations with “split-estate” farmers who don’t own the mineral rights under their land. The little-noticed suit last ...

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California county passes quicker permit process for drilling

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A California county has approved changes to oil and gas regulations that officials say will streamline the process for acquiring drilling approval. KBAK-TV reports that Kern County is the largest oil producing county in California, but until now had no permitting process for drilling operations. Acquiring permission had become burdensome and unpredictable because regulation was overseen by ...

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California oil industry laments rejection of key pipeline project

Kern County oil and gas companies, cut off by geography from any direct benefits of the Keystone Pipeline proposal, nevertheless joined the national petroleum industry Friday in expressing disappointment with President Barack Obama’s rejection of the politically fraught infrastructure project. Locally operating petroleum producers said the White House missed an opportunity to enhance national energy security and bolster the U.S. ...

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Pardon us while we gush: It’s Oildorado Days!

The oil industry is an up-and-down business with more downs than ups of late, but you wouldn’t know it from all the gushing going on in Kern County’s oil capital of Taft, on the eve of the town’s every-five-years Oildorado celebration. “Taft is not without its problems, but we’re small enough where everybody knows everybody but big enough to create ...

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Farmers poised to attack oil permitting plan

A clash is brewing between Kern’s petroleum industry and members of the county’s agriculture sector over a plan to streamline local oil and gas permitting. Despite a compromise proposed to smooth relations between the two industries in cases of split ownership of farming properties, growers have mounted a vigorous challenge to a county environmental review at the heart of the ...

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Report on oil permitting plan lists options for resolving conflicts with farmers

A central element in the ambitious proposal to streamline oil and gas permitting in Kern County is a carefully crafted compromise regarding “split estates,” where one party — typically a farmer — owns the surface property, while the underlying mineral rights are owned by someone else, usually an oil producer. But that compromise is not written in stone. As a ...

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Kern’s next top oil regulator may be a political appointee


The job of Kern County’s top oil regulator may soon become a politically appointed position subject to hiring and firing by California’s governor. Switching the job’s classification from a civil service position to a political appointment would allow the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to offer a higher salary to its next District 4 deputy. It might ...

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