The proposed project is a conversion of existing or previously permitted wells to a new UIC project to Steamflood the Lower Tulare oil sands on the Leutholtz lease in the Midway-Sunset oil field. The Leutholtz lease is a split estate with private surface rights and Federal mineral rights.
The primary purpose of the UIC project is for Holmes Western Oil Corporation (Holmes) to construct and operate a new Steamflood project to enhance the recovery of heavy oil by steam injection. A combination of produced and municipal water will be used to generate steam. The steam will be pipelined to the lease using an existing steam line. Existing production facilities and steam generation equipment are sized appropriately to handle the project needs. The project will be implemented in three to five separate phases over a period of approximately five years. The proposed project is comprised of the following:
•Convert three existing Lower Tulare producers to Class II steam injection wells.
•Drill and complete 11 new Lower Tulare wells as Class II steam injection wells.
•Convert four existing cyclic steam producing wells to Temperature Observation wells.
•Drill remaining infill producers and injectors to complete injection patterns.
Holmes acquired permits for all proposed new wells from Kern County, BLM, and CalGEM. Holmes acquired permits from Kern County and BLM to install well pads and install necessary infrastructure. Holmes will request permits for well conversions from BLM, CalGEM, and Kern County (as appropriate).
NEPA documents provided to CalGEM for review include an Environmental Assessment (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI, ), and Decision Record (DR) prepared by the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a Sensitive Species Review form for APD’s (Applications for Permit to Drill) and Sundry Notices, a BLM Oil and Gas Programmatic Biological Opinion, and signed Kern County job cards issued prior to March 25, 2020. The BLM FONSI approves 34 APDs to drill 34 new production wells which include constructing 18 new well pads, grading existing well pads, and installing pipelines and power lines on Federal mineral lease CALA34993A. The NEPA documents C060-2020-0087-EA) are available here:
Details on Underground Injection Control can be found on CalGEM’s website at: http://www.conservation.ca.gov/calgem/Pages/Undergroundinjectioncontrol.aspx