Kern Gusher Blog

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  1. summit_1_fa.JPG

    Summit examines pain in oil, ag, related industries

    BY JOHN COX The Bakersfield Californian
    Wednesday, Mar 25 2015 06:04 PM

    Local business and government leaders got a close look Wednesday at the cracks forming in Kern County's economy as a result of drought and sharply lower oil prices.

    At an annual meeting that was much less optimistic than in recent years, economists and local specialists predicted substantial reductions in the county's agricultural output and continuing pain in its oil fields.

    Either situation could improve independently of local efforts. But short of sudden snowstorms or international unrest to lift petroleum markets, a Cal State Bakersfield economist said Kern stands to lose 7,000 jobs in oil, ag and related industries.

    "It looks to us like 2015 equals 2013" in terms of overall employment, CSUB economist Mark Evans told a large...

  2. Fracking

    California oil producers unfazed by new federal fracking rules

    California's oil industry welcomed new federal rules on hydraulic fracturing Friday, calling them affirmation that the controversial well stimulation technique can be performed safely. A top industry group deemed the rules, issued by the...

  3. tab_Unemployment.jpg

    County loses 1,200 oil field jobs

    Employment in Kern County oil fields shrank by 1,200 jobs in January and February, or 10 percent, according to state data released Friday. The layoffs, a result of plummeting oil prices, made up about one-eighth of Kern's 9,900-job...

  4. Tejon2.JPG

    Water sales boost Tejon Ranch's finances

    Thanks primarily to water sales, Tejon Ranch Co. this week posted a 37 percent, year-over-year increase in its net income for 2014. The Lebec-based agribusiness and real estate development company said Monday its income improved to $5.66...

  5. Worth noting: SoCal veterinary hospital expands into Bakersfield

    A veterinary hospital company with two locations in Los Angeles County hopes to expand into Bakersfield later this month. Access Specialty Animal Hospitals said Thursday it will open what it calls a satellite location offering cardiology...

  6. State awards $8 million to help harness biogas at Kern dairies

    Two Kern County dairies will be outfitted with technology for turning cow manure into renewable energy with the help of $8 million in state grant money. The California Energy Commission voted Wednesday to give an outfit calling itself...

  7. Oil producer faces fine over 'likely' fracking spill

    A Los Angeles-based company that produces oil in Kern County faces a $67,700 fine for "likely" spilling fracking fluid in the South Belridge Oil Field in 2013. BreitBurn Operating LP, part of publicly traded Breitburn Energy Partners LP, is...

  8. Disposal site near McKittrick looks to expand

    The owner-operator of a landfill and waste treatment plant one mile south of McKittrick is requesting permission for a substantial expansion of the operation. Liquid Waste Management Inc. wants to increase the size of the plant's waste...

  9. A climate change group here? In Bakersfield?

    The heart of California oil country might not be the easiest place to sign up climate-change believers who would support a new tax on the petroleum industry. Then again, what better target than the home of the second highest-ranking...

  10. Oil Prices.JPG

    Report says Bakersfield leads cities with wide-ranging gas prices

    Local motorists running low on gas had a choice Tuesday: Pay as little as $2.89 per gallon at a generic gas station on Baker Street, or as much as $4.33 per gallon at a Shell on Stockdale Highway. That's quite a price difference. As it...

  11. Oil_tab.jpg

    Oil regulators defend permitting of injection wells at contentious hearing

    A brewing controversy over Kern County oil field practices heated up Tuesday as top Brown administration appointees fended off state lawmakers' allegations that California regulators have become too cozy with the petroleum industry. At a...

  12. Job_fair4.JPG

    Kern jobless rate climbed again in January to 11.1 percent

    Kern County's unemployment rate rose by slightly more than one percentage point in January to an estimated 11.1 percent as local joblessness expanded for a third consecutive month, according to state data released Tuesday. California's...

  13. Legislative hearing will focus on oil field injections

    State lawmakers will meet Tuesday to discuss regulatory problems that have resulted in the closure of nearly two dozen Kern County oil field disposal wells since June. Senior officials with the state Department of Conservation, the State...

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