Crews from an oil industry company are cleaning up a massive oil spill in California after 855,000 gallons of water and oil leaked out of the ground west of Bakersfield. The oil industry company uses steam injection to extract oil in the Cymric Oil Field. John Cox at Bakersfield.com reports: “Surface expression, as the leaking phenomenon is called, can result when high-pressure steam escapes beyond target pathways. When the steam escapes, it comes up with a mix of oil and water… On state orders, the oil industry company stopped steam injection within 1,000 feet of the abandoned well believed to be at fault.” The California Department of Conservation published the Cymric Oil Field Press Release describing the oil discharge.
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) continues to address a large oil release known as a “surface expression” of oil and water in a dry streambed in the Cymric oil field located in Kern County. This kind of discharge can occur when steam injected under pressure to produce oil breaks through natural geologic barriers to the surface. The seepage began on May 10 and ceased that same day. It was reported to DOGGR, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response. The flow reactivated a second time on June 8, flowing intermittently for five days. On June 23, the seep started again. Numerous steps were taken to stop the discharge. On July 17, a small seep was observed at one of the surface expression vents where there had been a prior release. The releases have totaled approximately 19,000 barrels (855,000 gallons) of a mixture of about one-third oil and two-thirds water.
Oil spills are major industrial accidents that can lead to severe repercussions regarding health and the environment. Oil spill investigations require experts experienced in petroleum engineering and oil field operations. In litigation, oil spill expert witnesses are called upon to provide analysis on whether the individuals involved were adhering to the proper rules and regulations set by the industry. Contact ForensisGroup to hire a credible oil spill expert witness for your case.