August 23, 2019 Meeting Highlights

The Commission held its August public meeting in Los Angeles. The Commission approved the issuance of dozens of leases and permits authorizing the use of lands and waterways throughout the State of California and took other actions relating to lands and resources under its jurisdiction. Highlights from the meeting are below.

Port of Los Angeles

The Commission received a briefing from Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. Mr. Seroka briefed the Commission on the effect of tariffs on trade, the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, waterfront development projects, and a new Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Work at the Port of Los Angeles.

State Oil & Gas Lease Nos. PRC 91, PRC 163, PRC 425, PRC 426, & PRC E-392

The Commission received an informational update about California Resources Corporation’s (CRC) well abandonment efforts related to a 2017 amendment of their five leases located offshore Huntington Beach. Staff reported that since the lease amendments became effective in 2017, CRC is fully compliant with the terms of their amended leases. CRC’s remaining obligations under the amendments will start to come due over the next 2 to 3 years. CRC plugged and abandoned four idle wells in 2018 and is on track to plug and abandon another four idle wells by the end of September 2019, reducing the overall abandonment liability on Platform Emmy by approximately $2.9 million. CRC is required to plug and abandon another seven idle wells on Platform Emmy within the next 3 years. Additionally, CRC is required to start plugging and abandoning the majority of the 146 idle wells that are located onshore but produced from the offshore leases by 2021, at a rate of 10 idle wells a year until the number of idle wells reach less than 15 percent of the total well count on the leases. Staff also updated the Commission on the lease amendment’s impact on royalties received by the Commission. Staff reported that increased production between October 2017 and June 2019 has provided the state with a net increase of roughly $2.6 million more in actual royalty dollars since the 2017 amendments became effective.

New Online System for Customer Applications & Records

The Commission was updated about the launch of its new online system that allows the public to access, submit, and track lease and permit applications. The system, called the Online System for Customer Applications and Records (OSCAR), went live in late July 2019. OSCAR provides the Commission with new automation capabilities that enable it to accept and process applications and jurisdictional inquiries electronically. For users, online applications are tailored to fit the specific project or use being requested, and they can check on the status of an application at any time. With this new technology, the Commission can preserve and make available to the public vital historical records that provide insight into the lands and resources managed by the Commission and the history of California. Initially, the Commission is putting 20,000 historical maps online with more to be added as they are digitized.

IP Renewable Energy Holdings LLC and IDEO S.A., Scientific Data Collection Lease

The Commission considered, and deferred action on, a lease application of sovereign land located in the Pacific Ocean, between the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve and Point Conception State Marine Reserve, near Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, for scientific data collection to determine the suitability of the general area for a potential future offshore floating wind demonstration project.

The Commission’s next public meeting is on October 24, 2019, at 10 a.m. in Contra Costa County. Additional Information, including location, the agenda, and staff reports, will be posted on our website as they become available.