Oil and Water do mix

 The following link to an Orion Magazine article was sent to me by a friend in the federal service.  Never doubt there are good-hearted people working for local, state and federal agencies who DO CARE about our natural resources and how we can protect them.




A couple of factoids from the article worthy of note:


  • The town of Taft was formerly know as the town of Moron at the turn of the century (I kid you not!);
  • In the time since steamflooding was pioneered here in the fields of Kern County in the 1960s, oil companies statewide have pumped roughly 2.8 trillion gallons of fresh water—or, in the parlance of agriculture, nearly 9 million acre-feet—underground in pursuit of the region’s tarry oil. Essentially, enough water has been injected into the oil fields here over the last forty years to create a lake one foot deep covering more than thirteen thousand square miles—nearly twice the surface area of Lake Ontario;
  • In 2008, Kern producers injected nearly 1.3 billion barrels of water to extract 162 million barrels of oil—a ratio of nearly eight barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced;
  •  In 2008, nearly half of the 1.45 billion barrels of polluted water dredged up by oil companies in Kern County were injected into underground disposal wells or left in unlined waste pits, sumps, and evaporation ponds.