Drilling off California hits new roadblocks

Click here to enlarge imageOwners of 40 leases off central California are being stymied yet again in their attempts to develop viable plans for tracts that the US Minerals Management Service estimates hold more than 1 billion bbl of oil and 500 bcf of gas.The oil industry paid $1.25 billion for the leases during 1968-1984, plus annual lease rentals. Although low oil prices and internal corporate priorities prevented more-immediate plans, so, too, has an anti-oil movement in California that was most recently solidified by the administration of Gov. Gray Davis, the California Coastal Commission (CCC), and a block of politicians representing the areas most directly affected by lease develo...

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