CIPA Corrects the Record on Energy Production and Water Use

For immediate release

March 5, 2014

CIPA Corrects the Record on Energy Production and Water Use

Oil and gas production is primarily water production

SACRAMENTO— California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman today responded to two activist groups — Restore the Delta and Food and Water Watch – that held a conference call for reporters and activists during which they made false claims about energy production and water use.

“California’s oil and gas industry produces three billion gallons of water annually, contrary to activist claims that the industry ‘uses’ significant amounts of water,” said Zierman. “When activists claim, as Food and Water Watch did yesterday, that industry ‘uses’ eight barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil, it highlights a fundamental misunderstanding of oil and gas development. The water is not drinkable water and wasn’t available until the industry produced it.”

According to the California Department of Conservation, in 2012 California produced 197 million barrels of oil, which came out of the ground with three billion barrels of water.

“The fact is,” Zierman continued, “oil production is mostly water production. The drilling process produces billions of gallons of water every year, from which a small amount of oil, relative to water, is removed. This water is treated and made available to water-intensive industries like agriculture, or re-injected back underground from where it came, often to stabilize pressure in the reservoir to prevent subsidence.”

Zierman noted that raising concerns about water use is the latest tactic in the ongoing activist campaign to shut down California’s oil and gas industry and the tens of thousands jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity that go with it.

Activist groups that are misleading people about the industry’s water use in drilling are the same groups that have been peddling falsehoods about the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — a routine well-stimulation technique that involved injecting fluid that is 99.5 percent water and sand into “tight” rock formations to stimulate the flow of hydrocarbons. The technology has been employed in California for more than 50 years and has been used more than 1.2 million times in the United States since the 1940s with no negative environmental consequences identified by regulators.

“Just as radical environmental activists are wrong about water use in drilling for oil and gas, and they are also wrong about water used in fracking,” Zierman said. “Owing to California’s unique geology, a hydraulic fracturing job uses a relatively small about of water in our state – about one-fifth the amount of water needed to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Put another way,” he said, “in 2012 all of the fracking in California used 202 acre-feet of water, compared to 140,000 acre feet used by California’s golf courses.”


SOURCE: California Independent Petroleum Association

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