Regulators of the state are confirming a methane gas leak with a pair of idle oil wells around a residential area of Bakersfield. This therefore raises the worries of environmentalists who are scared of the problem becoming much more widespread than people anticipate.
The leaks themselves looked relatively small. Almost pinhole-sized. But don’t you worry! Regulators made it known they were sealed later on.
Clark Williams-Derry from Washington state had approached the Kern Bluff oil field over there in the Northeast and was able to discover a hiss from two oil wells. They’re approximately 400 feet away from a home found in suburban housing developments, where they were once managed by Sunray Petroleum Inc.
How bad is it? Who’s noticing?
State inspectors had detected the concentrated amounts of methane were found around the wells to be totally explosive and the environmental activists around the region are even worried about how other chemicals can leak from the wells while posing a threat to public health.
Uduak-Joe Ntuk, the head of California Geologic Energy Management division from the California Department of Conservation, believes the leakage is “minor in nature and do not pose an immediate threat to public health or safety.” The Cal. DOC was the agency that oversaw wells and confirmed when they were leaking.
May 17th some inspector from San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, measuring the methane in the air, surrounded by the leaking wells. Jamie Holt, the chief communications officer in the district made it well known that they could not just yet confirm the amounts of methane found.
A letter sent to the state’s oil and gas regulators was created by a coalition of environmental groups, stating that the inspector had discovered methane levels in the air from about 20,000 parts per million, while launching 50,000 parts per million through the other well.
Some Organizations Are Weighing in with Opinions
CalGEM mentioned in their report for four additional leaks that they had been notifying Sunray Petroleum can repair the leaks well enough thanks to the Fire Department.
Environmental advocates in the area believe the response by state authorities have not gone far enough.
Since the discovery of the leaks, Cesar Aguirre, who he himself is a senior community organizer for the Central California Environmental Justice Network, where canvassing the neighborhood has allowed residents to be notified.
There could have been a potential explosion or fire but also other types of pollution! Like smog or ozone overload. Methane isn’t really toxic, but a study back in 2021 showed it was tied to ozone pollution. This is really important to keep in mind in spite of the impending doom being totally random! Just goes to show you have to watch out for yourself.